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MAI APR 2 8 1993 


MAY 3 


Demco, Inc. 38-293 



t T. K. PAGE, C.H., I.ITT.H. 



Laeta fere laetus cecini, cano tristtci trlstls. 

P. iii. 9. 35. 















First printed 1924 
Reprinted 1939 

Printed in Great Britain 




BOOK I ,,., 2 



BOOK III ....- 

BOOK IV ... 

BOOK V ..,..- 


HOOK I ... 

BOOK II ... 



INDEX ,... 4 91 


THE works of Ovid himself, and especially the auto- 
biography (T. iv. 10), supply most of the material 
for a sketch of his life. His fame, however, caused 
him to be mentioned often by later writers, and 
these, taken together, add not a little to the in- 
formation derived from his own poems. 

His full name was Publius Ovidius Naso, and he 
was born on March twentieth, 43 B.C., at Sulmo, the 
chief town of the Paeligni, about ninety miles by 
road east of Rome. The family was of old equestrian 
rank, and inscriptions prove that the name Ovidius 
was common only in the region of Ovid's birthplace. 
In Sulmo, now Sulmona, the tradition of the poet 
still flourishes. The townspeople point out to the 
infrequent tourist his statue in the court of the 
Collegio Ovidio, the chief school of the town, and 
the remains of his villa, the Villa Ovidio, on the slopes 
of a neighbouring mountain. The main street of 
the town, the Corso Ovidio, preserves his name, 
and the letters S.M.P.E. (" Sulmo mihi patria est," 
T. iv. 10. 3) are inscribed on the fasades of monu- 
ments and at the head of public documents. In 
folk-lore also and popular song his name survives. 

But though the statue is mediaeval, though the 
ruins are probably not connected with him, and the 
traditions are fancy, the beautiful country on which 



Ovid must have looked is true to his description. 
Sulmona lies in one of the loveliest vales of Italy, sur- 
rounded by towering mountains and watered, as 
Ovid himself says, by cold streams. As one views 
it from the mountain slopes the valley, carefully 
tilled and dotted with vineyards and fruit trees, is 
like a vast garden. Here lay those paternal fields 
of which the poet speaks, and here he passed the 
years of his boyhood. 

Ovid's father, like the father of Horace, was 
ambitious for his sons and destined them for an 
oratorical career. While they were still very young 
Ovid and his brother, who was exactly one year 
older than the poet, were taken to Rome to receive 
a proper training. The brother displayed a decided 
gift for pleading, but Ovid found the legal grind 
distasteful. He tried to conform to his father's 
practical advice but the inborn impulse was too 
strong. " Whatever I tried to write," he says, 
44 was verse," and the quaint anecdote told in one 
of the late Lives probably hits off the situation very 
well. Once when Ovid was being chastised by his 
angry father, says the Life, the squirming boy 
cried out (in verse !), " Parce mihi ! numquam versi- 
ficabo, pater ! " 

But though " he lisped in numbers," he neverthe- 
less persisted half-heartedly in his preparation for 
a practical career until he held certain minor offices 
which were preliminary to the quaestorship. He 
became a triumvir capitalis, i.e. one of the board of 
three officials who had charge of prisons and execu- 
tions and possessed judicial powers in petty cases. 
Ovid was probably not over twenty-one at this 
time. He also speaks of having been a member of 


the centumviral court (which dealt with questions 
of inheritance) and of having served as a single 
judge, i.e. as a sort of referee in private lawsuits. 
As a triumvir he was directly in line for the 
quaestorship and seems to have had a right to 
quaestorial privileges, but his tastes and frail con- 
stitution led him to renounce a public career. 

Ovid's thorough education under such distinguished 
teachers as the rhetoricians Arellius Fuscus and 
Porcius Latro was not wasted, although it was not 
applied to the end which his hard-headed father 
had urged. Rhetoric and literature formed the 
major part of the training of those who were qualify- 
ing themselves for public life, and the young poet, 
as we learn from Seneca the Elder, became a brilliant 
declaimer. Poetry was much studied in the rhe- 
torical schools of the day, and the training which 
Ovid received undoubtedly laid the foundation of 
that wide familiarity with myth and literature 
which he displays in his work. In fact Seneca tells 
us that Ovid transferred to his own verse many of 
the pointed remarks of his teacher Latro. Even 
his legal training was not entirely wasted, for there 
are traces of it, in his work. 

Ovid studied at Athens, as Horace and many 
other young Romans had done, and travelled in 
Sicily and in Asia Minor. It is probable that his 
sojourn in Athens occurred while he was still a 
student, but it is not certain that the other journeys 
belong to the same period. 

Even before his education was finished he had 
won fame as a poet of love. He was giving public 
recitations of his Amores, he tells us, when his 
" beard had been cut but once or twice " (T. iv. 


10. 55 f.). Undoubtedly the popularity of these 
youthful poems did much to establish the conviction 
which he often expresses that his bent was erotic 
elegy ; he considered himself the lineal successor 
of Gallus, Tibullus, and Propertius, and posterity 
has accepted him at his word. Thus the foundation 
of that fame which he was destined to deplore so 
bitterly was laid in his early youth. 

In these youthful days Ovid made the acquaintance 
of many poets. His relations with Vergil and 
Tibullus were apparently not intimate, but he was 
only twenty-four when these poets died (19 B.C.), 
and it is probable that for some years before that 
date both had been in poor health and had seldom 
been seen in Rome. Ovid admired Horace but 
does not assert that he knew that poet personally. 
Propertius, however, he knew well, and he mentions 
him, together with Aemilius Macer, Ponticus, and 
Bassus, as a member of his own circle. He names 
besides a large number of fellow poets, many of 
whom were friends. To us they are hardly more 
than names, but they serve to illustrate the 
breadth of Ovid's literary interests, for these men 
worked in all departments of poetic composition. 
Ovid was always a generous critic, but in his remarks 
during his exile about these contemporaries there 
is the additional reason for generosity that he 
naturally wished to speak well of anybody who 
might help him. 

Apart from literary men, professional or dilettanti, 
Ovid had a very wide acquaintance with Roman 
society in general. He came from a country town 
and he was not noble, but his rank was inherited 
and his fortune was considerable. With these ad- 


vantages it was easy for a man of his brilliant talent 
and agreeable personality to know everybody worth 
knowing, and the poems from exile contain the 
names of many statesmen, officials, and soldiers 
fewer, certainly, than he must have known since he is 
careful not to name any to whom seeming connexion 
with an exile might have brought offence. More- 
over, many of those whom he must have known 
in his youth had died before the period of his exile, 
and these are mentioned as a rule only when they 
are connected in some way with the living to whom 
he made his appeals. 

To the members of Rome's great families Ovid 
stood rather in the relation of a client to patrons, 
although this relation did not preclude intimacy. 
Among these patrons the most distinguished man 
was Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, the states- 
man, general, and orator, whose house was the centre 
of a literary circle in which the most prominent 
member was Tibullus. To this circle Ovid also 
undoubtedly belonged. Messalla died not long 
before Ovid was exiled, perhaps in the very year of 
his exile (A.D. 8), and he had probably been in- 
capacitated by illness for several years before his 
death. It was Ovid's appeal to the great man's 
sons that led him to mention the father. To the 
house of Messalla he had been devoted from his 
earliest years, and Messalla himself had been the 
first to encourage him to publish his verse un- 
doubtedly some of those erotic poems which later 
helped to ruin the poet. Messalla was, in Ovid's 
phrase, " the guide of his genius," and the poet 
wrote a tribute to him at his death. 

Messalla had been one of Augustus* right-hand 



the same station in life as himself, and many of 
these are named in the Pontic Epistles. Since at 
the time Ovid was writing the Tristia he did not 
venture to name his friends, the question arises 
whether it is possible to identify any of the un- 
named recipients of the Tristia with friends who are 
named in the Pontic Epistles. 1 There are seventeen 
poems of the Tristia which are addressed to friends 
or patrons. Three of these, as the tone shows, are 
addressed to patrons, i.e. to men who were superior 
to Ovid in rank, twelve to friends of his own status 
or of such status that they were at least not his 
superiors, while in the case of two the tone supplies 
no good evidence for placing them in one class 
rather than the other. Now Ovid asserts several 
times that " only two or three " of his friends 
showed themselves really faithful at the time when 
disaster befell him (T. i. 5. 33, " vix duo tresve " ; cf. 
Hi. 5. 10 ; v. 4. 36, etc.). Examination of the 
Pontic Epistles shows that these few faithful ones 
were probably Brutus, Atticus, Celsus, and possibly 
Carus. To these we should add his patron-friend 
Cotta Maximus. By comparing the Pontic Epistles 
in which these men are addressed or named with 
the seventeen Tristia we may assign to Brutus 
7\ iii. 4 (cf. P.\. 1, iii. 9, iv. 6) ; to Atticus T. v. 4 
(cf. P. ii. 4 and 7) ; to Celsus T. i. 5, iii. 6 (cf. P. i. 
9) ; to Carus T. iii. 5 (cf. P. iv. 13) ; to Cotta Maximus 
T. iv. 5, v. 9 (cf. P. i. 5 and 9, ii. 3 and 8, iii. 2 and 5, 
iv. 16. 41 ff.) ; to Messalinus T. iv. 4 (cf. P. i. 7, 
and ii. 3). The reproach, T. i. 8, is very possibly 
addressed to Macer (cf. P. ii. 10). Even if these 
identifications are accepted there remain eight 

1 Cf. especially Graeber (see Bibliog.). 


poems whose recipients have not been satisfactorily 
identified. Of these eight six (T. i. 7, iv. 7, v. 6, 
7, 12, 13) are addressed to men who were apparently 
friends, two (T. i. 9, iii. 14) are uncertain, though 
the tone of T. i. 9 is perhaps better suited to a young 
man of rank, and that of T. iii. 14 to a poet-friend 
of greater age than Ovid. 

Numerous other friends and acquaintances 
poets, rhetoricians, officials, soldiers appear in the 
Pontic Epistles, but among them there is nobody 
whom we may regard as the probable recipient of 
any poem among the Tristia. About some of them 
we know only what Ovid tells us, about others we 
can glean a few meagre facts from other sources. 
It is particularly unfortunate that, with the exception 
of Cotta Maximus, the poet's best friends, Celsus, 
Atticus, Brutus, and Cams, are known only from Ovid. 
All efforts to identify them with men of the same 
names mentioned elsewhere have proved unavailing. 

There is no good evidence that Ovid had ever 
been intimate with any member of the imperial 
household. The approval of the Emperor to which 
he alludes (T. ii. 89 and 98, cf. 542) consisted merely 
in allowing Ovid to retain his rank as a knight. In 
his references to Augustus the poet assumes the 
tone of an abject suppliant appealing to a deity 
immeasurably removed. Even if there had been 
any former intimacy it would have been difficult to 
harmonize it with such an attitude as this and it 
would have been carefully suppressed. The refer- 
ences to Tiberius and his son Drusus, to Germanicus 
and his sons, permit the same general inference : 
that Ovid had probably never been intimate with 
any of them. The character of Germanicus was 



so affable and kindly that if Ovid had ever 
known him well one might expect a reference to 
the fact. But the passages in which Germanicus 
is addressed or mentioned show that Ovid's hopes 
in this direction were based upon the intercessions 
of mutual friends Salanus (P. ii. 5), Sextus Pompey 
(P. iv. 5), Suillius (P. iv. 8), etc. 

The method of appeal to the Empress Livia 
Augusta is similar. Ovid hoped to influence her 
through his wife and through Marcia, wife of 
Paullus Fabius Maximus, who was Augusta's close 
friend. Another possible approach to Augusta lay 
in the fact that Ovid's wife knew intimately the 
Emperor's maternal aunt, Atia Minor. This seems 
to have been the only real link between the poet's 
household and the palace. 

At the time when Ovid was ordered into exile 
(A.D. 8) the only members of his immediate family 
who were in Rome were his wife and step-daughter. 
His own daughter, who must have been the daughter 
of his first or second wife, had married a second 
time and was absent in Libya, but we know neither 
her name nor that of her husband at the time. His 
only brother had died years before when he had 
just turned twenty, i.e. in 24 B.C. Both of the poet's 
parents also had passed away, his father at the 
advanced age of ninety. 

Ovid himself was married three times. He speaks 
of his first wife whom he married when he was 
" almost a boy," as *' unworthy and useless." The 
marriage lasted but a short time and may have 
ended in divorce. The second wife was " blame- 
less," but this marriage also was broken off by 
death or divorce. The poet does not tell us the 


names of these ladies, but he indicates that one of 
them came from Falerii (Am. in. 13. 1). Ovid's third 
wife was " from the house " of the Fabii (P. i. 2. 
136), but it is not certain that her name, which 
Ovid does not give, was Fabia. She may have 
been a poor relative (or a relative who had lost her 
parents) who had lived in the protection of the 
Fabian household. She was a widow (or divorced ?) 
with one daughter, Perilla, when Ovid married her, 
but the marriage seems to have been childless. 1 
Upon her devolved the care of the poet's property 
after he was exiled, and upon her efforts he rested 
in large measure his hopes of pardon. Many 
passages bear witness to his tender love for her ; 
lie draws a most affecting picture of their mutual 
despair at parting, and if at times after years of 
exile he became somewhat peevish, we must pity 
rather than condemn. The poor lady seems to have 
been always faithful to his interests and no doubt 
she did all within her power to secure a mitigation 
of his sentence. 

But neither family connexions nor influential friends 
were able to save Ovid from his fate. After more 
than thirty years of popularity, at the age of fifty, 
he was suddenly ordered to leave that Rome which 
was the very breath of life to men of his stamp 
and take up his abode on the very edge of the 
wilderness in a little town of which he had probably 
never heard. The order emanated from the authority 
of the Emperor and was never brought before the 
Senate or a court. Ovid was not called an exul> 

1 Perilla later married Suillius (P. iv. 8. 11 and 90). 
Some scholars believe that Perilla is a pseudonym and that 
she was not connected with Ovid. 



but was " relegated " (rekgatus). 1 Relegatio was 
milder than the exilium of the late republic in that 
the poet's property was not confiscated and his civic 
rights were not taken from him, but it was harsher, 
in Ovid's case, in that he was ordered to stay in 
one designated locality. The exul of the republican 
period might wander where he would provided he 
kept beyond a prescribed radius from Rome. On the 
other hand, to judge from Cicero's case, the friends 
of an exile of that period subjected themselves to 
penalties if they aided him, whereas Ovid's friends 
freely assisted him and wrote to him. Even the 
fear of being publicly known as his friends, which 
prevailed at the time he was writing the Tristia, had 
vanished from the minds of all but one or two when 
the Pontic Epistles were written, and Ovid himself 
states openly (P. iii. 6. 11 f.) that the Emperor 
forbade neither mention of him nor correspondence 
with him. 

The sins which led Augustus to banish Ovid have 
been endlessly discussed. The poet himself refers 
to them again and again, but his references are so 
vague that it is impossible to arrive at the whole 
truth, and of course the lips of his contemporaries 
were sealed. He was constantly hoping that his 
penalty might be revoked or at least mitigated by 
permission to change his place of exile, and he left 
no stone unturned to effect one or the other of these 
results. If we had his prose correspondence with 
friends in Rome and elsewhere a correspondence 
to which he frequently refers it would be easier 
to solve the problem, but in the poems from exile 
we have only such evidence as could be made public 

1 T. ii. 131 ff. ; iv. 4. 45 f. : 9. 1 1 ff. ; 5. 7 ; P. ii. 7. 56. 


without injuring the exile's chances of pardon or 
involving his friends. In weighing this evidence it 
is necessary to allow for a double distortion an over- 
emphasis on the charges which could be publicly 
argued and a corresponding reticence about those 
which it seemed impolitic to discuss in public. 
Moreover, the poet based his hope of pardon very 
largely on confession of guilt ; he threw himself on 
the mercy of the court which consisted, in this case, 
of a single judge, the Emperor. Naturally, there- 
fore, he did not argue his case as completely as he 
could have done if he had been free to use' all the 
arguments at his disposal. He was aware that the 
mere presentation of evidence could avail him 
nothing. There was no appeal from the judge's 
verdict, but the judge himself might be induced 
to relent. 

Ovid asserts that there were two charges against 
him, a poem and a mistake (T. ii. 207, " duo crimina, 
carmen et error") of which the poem was the first 
in time. In many passages he makes the same 
distinction between his sins, and it will be advisable, 
even though they may have been connected, to 
discuss them separately in order to determine the 
poet's own attitude. 

The poem was the Ars Amatoria which was pub- 
lished c. 1 B.C. This Art, as the poet often calls 
it, is no more immoral than other erotic works, 
among which Ovid mentions those of Tibullus 
and Propertius, but it is explicitly didactic. It 
gathers up and systematizes the- erotic precepts 
which had gradually been developed (largely under 
Greek influence) by the Roman poets, especially 
Gallus, Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid himself. It 


taught love explicitly, and Ovid became known as 
the chief erotic expert (pr acceptor amoris). Erotic 
teaching had appeared often enough in Greek and 
Latin, but there had been no handbook like this. 
The Art was the culmination, the shining example, 
for it presented the subject as a didactic system, 
and it was this aspect of the book, not the erotic 
content per se, that angered Augustus. In his eyes 
and in the eyes of all those who hoped to regenerate 
Roman morals Ovid was the arch offender, and the 
Art was his chief sin. When the poet was exiled 
the Art was expelled from the public libraries and 
placed under a ban. 

The charge of pernicious influence through the 
medium of the Art could be publicly discussed, and 
since Ovid presents his case in the second book of 
the Tristia, not to mention many other briefer 
passages, the discussion need not be repeated here. 
It is sufficient to say that he denied any intention 
of immoral influence, proving that the Art was 
explicitly restricted to affairs with courtesans, and 
that he was no more blameworthy than countless 
other writers if readers had made a perverse use 
of his work. He complained truly that he was the 
only erotic poet who had ever been punished for his 
compositions. In view of ancient standards in such 
matters it must be admitted that, so far as the Art 
was concerned, he was harshly treated. But what- 
ever the merits of the case the poet bitterly regretted 
that he had ever written erotic verse, even at times 
that he had ever attempted verse of any kind. 
Augustus had condemned the Art, and Ovid had 
perforce to admit that he had sinned. 

In Ovid's eyes then the Art was the earliest cause 


of his exile and an important cause, but he says that 
there was a later cause which " had injured him 
more " (P. iii. 3. 72). Since the latter could not 
be discussed publicly, the poet speaks of it in very 
general terms. It was not a crime (scelus), not 
illegal, but rather a fault (culpa, vitium) which he 
admitted to be wrong (peccalum, delictum, noxa). 
He had not been guilty wittingly, but through 
chance (fortuna, casus). There had been no criminal 
action (facinus) on his part, but he had laboured 
under a misunderstanding, he had blundered (error). 
He had been stupid (stultus), thoughtless (imprudens, 
non sapiens), over ingenuous (simplicitas) ; he had 
been ashamed (pudor) and afraid (timar, timidus)? 

From the passages in which he speaks most fully 
of this fault we infer that the affair with which it 
was connected had a considerable history, or at 
least that a full account of it would have been a 
long one. It began with a misunderstanding on 
Ovid's part of something that he had seen by chance 
(T. iii. 6. 27 if. ; ii. 103 ff.), but he must soon have 
comprehended its import, for he began to be afraid. 
He harboured it as a secret when advice might have 
saved him. 

He speaks of that which his eyes had seen as 
something wrong, but not as a crime. He had not 
at first considered it to be wrong, and perhaps his 
later confession that it was wrong is due to the fact 
that he was punished for it ; at least confession of 

1 For these terms cf. T. i. 2. 100; iv. 4. 37 and 43 if . ; 
P. ii. 9. 71 ; T. i. 2. 64; iv. 8. 49 ; 4. 44 ; P. i. 7. 41 ; ii. 9. 
72; T. ii. 105 f. ; i. 2. 98 ff. ; ii. 104; P. ii. 2. 17; T. i. 5. 
42 ; iii. 6. 30 ; P. ii. 2. 17 ; T. iii. 6. 27 ; P. i. 6. 21 ; T. iv. 
4.38; iii. 6. 11 ff.; P. ii. C. 7. 



guilt was in this matter, as in the case of the Ars 
Amatoria, a necessary part of his appeal to Augustus. 1 
It was necessary also for him to represent his friends, 
however sympathetic they were, as siding with 
Augustus, and so we hear that Cotta Maximus, 
Messalinus, and Graecinus condemned or reproved 
the poet's sins ; they believed that Ovid had sinned 
but that his sin was rather foolish than criminal. 
The thing was an offence, a wound to Augustus, 
and he had used harsh words about it, but there is 
no proof that the wound concerned his private 
affairs. In fact the sin did not, according to Ovid, 
involve others but had ruined the poet alone. He 
advances his original error as a partial excuse, not 
as a defence, for his sin. This is his only plea, but it 
is fairly clear that if the question could have been 
argued he would have made a strong defence. 

What had Ovid seen ? Why, after he realized its 
import, had he been afraid to reveal his knowledge ? 
To the second question one may answer that he 
was afraid of that which actually befell him, the 
Emperor's anger, for he must have been aware 
that he was disliked by Augustus. But to the first 
question there is with our present evidence no 
satisfactory answer although it has afforded a 
tempting field for surmise. Nevertheless such 
evidence as we have makes it possible to define 
approximately the nature of the thing, to say at 
least in some degree what it was not, and so to 
eliminate certain favourite hypotheses. 

Ovid characterizes the affair as no crime, and we 
may accept this statement because he would not 
have ventured to misname it nor could he have 

1 T. ii. 134,209, 133. 


misunderstood it if it had been criminal. Ovid 
himself could not discuss it because the case had been 
closed by the Emperor's verdict, but his statement 
is supported by the fact that he alludes to it many 
times without rebuke, that everybody knew it, and 
that the Emperor made no attempt to hush it up. 
It seems, therefore, very improbable that the evil 
of which he became cognizant was anything so 
heinous as the profligacy of the younger Julia, who 
was banished at about the same time as the poet. 
Ovid refers, it is true, to his fault as an offence 
against Augustus, as a wound," an " injury " to 
him, but such phrases need not imply that the 
offence concerned the imperial household. Any 
offence against the state, or that which Augustus 
regarded as the interest of the state, was an injury 
to the ruler. 

Augustus's own attitude, as shown by Ovid, in- 
dicates that the poet's sin was not a very heavy one. 
To say nothing of the comparatively mild conditions 
of Ovid's relegatio, which he himself urges as 
a proof of the Emperor's estimate, the poet and 
his friends were allowed to correspond freely, and 
he was allowed to publish poetry appealing openly 
to Augustus and to many others. It is plain that 
Augustus and after his death Tiberius, who con- 
tinued so religiously the policies of his predecessor, 
were quite satisfied merely to have Ovid out of the 
way. Ovid's fault was serious enough to serve as 
a pretext, that is all. It was the exciting cause of 
his exile, and so he can speak of it as having " injured 
him more " than the Ars Amatoria, but the latter 
all his erotic verse in fact which had given him so 
great and unsavoury a reputation as the purveyor 



of wanton titbits, was the predisposing cause. His 
fault must have been something that enhanced the 
poet's pernicious influence by lowering his personal 
reputation. With the Emperor it was the final 
straw. Without it Ovid might never have been exiled, 
for he was turning to more dignified work, the 
Metamorphoses, the Fasti, but he could not escape 
the notoriety of that earlier work which was still so 
popular with his " host of readers. 

Augustus himself was no prude. He had a weak- 
ness for mimes and he liked his little joke. It was 
not the content of the Ars Amatoria but rather its 
pernicious influence that angered him. If that 
work had merely been the talk of a day it would 
be impossible to understand why the Emperor 
allowed eight or nine years to pass before punishing 
its author. Everything indicates, however, that 
time only increased the vogue of the book, and when 
at an age that should have brought him wisdom 
the poet made that final stupid blunder, the Emperor 
became convinced that the question involved more 
than mere literature ; it had passed into the sphere 
of public policy. In brief, from the point of view 
of Augustus, the ruler and reformer, Ovid had been 
a nuisance for many years and had given fresh proof 
of his incorrigibility by making a fool of himself. 
The thing was too much. " I am sick of this fellow," 
he decided. " Naviget ! "* 

1 Schanz (see Bibliog.) gives a good resum of modern 
discussions. Boissier connects Ovid's culpa with the intrigue 
of the younger Ju^ia and Silanus, and this has been the 
favourite hypothesis. More recently S. Reinach (Rev. de 
Philol. xxxiv., 1910, p. 347) and Nemethy (see Bibliog.) have 
tried to show that Ovid was implicated in the affair of 
Agrippa Postumus, Augustus's grandson, who was banished 


When the blow fell Ovid was in Elba, probably 
in the suite of his friend Cotta Maximus, for the 
latter heard of Ovid's sin, and Ovid has described 
the interview in which he stammeringly confessed to 
Cotta that the report was true. This must have 
been in the summer or early autumn of A.D. 8. Ovid 
returned to Rome and arranged his affairs as best 
he could. In his despair he contemplated suicide, 
but he was not of the stuff of which suicides are 
made. Moreover, he cherished hopes of pardon, 
and he prevailed on his wife to remain behind to 
work for this object. His parting from her and 
the events of his dismal journey are described in 
Tristia i., all of which, save possibly the proem, was 
written before he reached Tomis. The account of 
the journey does not begin until he has boarded 
ship, at which time we find him storm-tossed on the 
Adriatic, and so it is uncertain whether he followed 
the Appian Way to Capua and its extension to 
Brundisium, the customary route for travellers 
bound to the East, or whether he embarked at 
some port nearer Rome, for example, Ostia. At 
any rate he sailed to Corinth, crossed the Isthmus 
from Lechacum to Cenchreae and boarded a second 
ship which carried him to Imbros and Samothrace. 
This ship completed her voyage to Tomis, but the 
poet preferred to cross from Samothrace to Tempyra 
near the Thracian coast and so to finish his journey 

not long before Ovid. The translator, after a fresh study of 
all the evidence, agrees with Boissier (and Ehwald) that the 
chief cause of exile was the Ars amat. and that the culpa 
merely gave Augustus a pretext, but he differs from Boissier 
as to the nature of the culpa. The evidence shows that the 
culpa could not have been in itself anything very serious. 



by land. He must have journeyed slowly, for he 
received news from home on the way, and it is 
probable that he did not cross the Thracian mountains 
to Tomis until the spring or summer of A.D. 9, since 
he alludes to no discomfort from cold, although after 
his arrival in Tomis this is a hardship on which he 
dwells insistently. 

Tomis ! Outlandish name ! With what bitter- 
ness the storm-tossed poet speaks of " the Tomitans, 
situate in some corner of the world " ! We cannot 
expect from a poet, much less from an exiled 
poet, an adequate description of the town. It was 
his interest to paint a gloomy picture. And yet if 
we allow for his exaggeration of the hardships 
there are details enough with which to form a 
fairly good conception of the poet's hostelry of 

Tomis l (the modern Constantza) lay on an elevated 
and rocky part of the coast, about sixty-five miles 
south-west of the nearest mouth of the Danube, in 
that part of Roumania now called the Dobrudja. 
The townspeople were a mixed crowd of half-breed 
Greeks and full-blooded barbarians. The latter 
were in the majority and were chiefly of Getic, 
hence Indo-European, stock. They dressed in skins, 
wore their hair and beards long, and went about 
armed. They were fine horsemen and experts with 
the bow. Apart from trade the chief occupation 
of the region was grazing, for border warfare made 
agriculture difficult. It was a rude community. 
Latin was almost never heard and the people spoke 
some hybrid Greek, but Getic and Sarmatian were 

1 Tomis, not Tomi, is indicated by the manuscripts and is 
the older form of the name, cf. Pick {see Bibliog.). 



so much in use that Ovid was forced to learn these 
languages. He even wrote a poem in Getic. 

The coastal region is often called by Ovid 
" Pontus " after the Pontus Euxinus, the modern 
Black Sea, which washed its shores. Sometimes 
he speaks of it as Pontus Laevus or Sinister, 
" Pontus -on -the -Left " (as one enters the Black 
Sea), to distinguish it from the kingdom of Pontus 
in Asia Minor, but at times these epithets seem 
to mean " ill-omened." Tomis itself was an ancient 
colony of Miletus and was in ancient as in modern 
times an important port. Because of the silt 
in the outlets of the Danube much freight passed 
to and from the river, in ancient times, by 
way of Tomis. The country about the town is 
in general flat arid treeless, often marshy. Ovid 
often speaks of this and also of the bad water 
^hich, together with the rough fare, may have caused 
the frequent illnesses which he mentions. He 
suffered from indigestion, fever, insomnia, " an 
aching side." He dwells on the extreme cold. 
Snow lies all winter, the Danube and the sea are 
frozen hard, even wine freezes in the jar arid is 
served in pieces ! The hair of the barbarians 
" tinkles with ice." This picture, as modern evidence 
proves, is not overdrawn. Although the latitude 
of Tomis is about the same as that of Florence, the 
winters are very severe. The temperature in the flat 
country sinks at times to 20 or even 30 below zero 
(Fahrenheit), and the Danube is sometimes ice- 
bound for three months. Violent winds, as Ovid 
also observed, are prevalent. 

Since Tomis was a border town it was subject to 
raids by the wild tribes from across the Danube, 


and this constant peril was in Ovid's eyes one of 
his worst misfortunes. The shepherds wore helmets 
as they tended their flocks. When the barbarians 
swooped down they destroyed or carried away 
everything that could not be brought within the 
walls. Poisoned arrows fell thickly within the town 
and even the elderly poet was called upon to aid 
in the defence. We are reminded of the tales of 
colonial America and the warfare of the settlers 
against the savages. 

Such is the picture that Ovid paints. No wonder 
that he regarded Tomis as " the worst element in 
his cruel lot," for it would be difficult to conceive 
of a place more distasteful to a man of his type. 
And yet even in his account there are some bright 
spots. The people were rough but they were kind to 
him. They realized how hard it was for such a man 
to live a virtual prisoner among them. They 
honoured him by a decree exempting him from 
taxation and they listened sympathetically when he 
told them of his appeals to be restored to his native 
land. For all this the poet was grateful, and when 
his wild hosts became aware of his attacks upon 
their land and showed their indignation, he was 
almost in despair. They could hardly be expected 
to accept the distinction that he made between 
his gratitude to them and his detestation of their 

There was nothing of Roman sternness about 
Ovid. Physically he was not strong and, even if 
the portrait which he draws of himself in exile 
his emaciation, his pallor and whitening hair, his 
frequent illnesses is exaggerated, it is clear that 
he was not one who cared for the strenuous life. 


His tastes were all against it. He did not care for 
exercises in arms, though he professes that he had 
to don a helmet to aid in the defence of Tomis. 
Archery, the favourite sport of the barbarians, had 
no attractions for him. In fact the only form of 
outdoor occupation that he cared for was gardening. 
This he had practised in Italy and he would have 
liked to continue it at Tomis if such a thing had 
been possible. He liked the ordinary inactive amuse- 
ments, dice-playing, etc., as little as he did physical 
exercises. "Games," he said, "are wont to waste 
that precious thing, our time ! " 

He was abstemious. Eating and drinking as mere 
pleasures did not appeal to him ; " You know," he 
writes to Flaccus, " that water is almost rny only 
drink." In his younger days his heart had not 
been impregnable to Cupid's darts, although he 
asserts that no scandal had ever been attached to 
his name, but advancing years and the sorrows of 
exile had removed this susceptibility. 

There was little of the philosopher or the scientist 
in Ovid and nothing at all of the explorer. What 
a chance he had during his long residence at Tomis 
to study the geography and ethnology of that almost 
unknown region ! What a chance for excursions 
into the wild country and among tribes still wilder ! 
Probably such excursions would not have been 
contrary to the decree of relegatio. But he was 
not a Varro or a Pliny, and his only attempt at 
science (aside from his effort to explain the freezing 
of the Pontus) seems to have been his Halieutica, a 
disquisition, of which only a fragment remains, on 
the fishes and animals of the Pontus. Nowhere in 
all his verses is there an adequate description of the 
c xxix 


many interesting barbarian tribes with which he 
became so familiar. Such details as he gives are 
almost always part of his effort to paint his lot in 
the darkest colours. 

But we cannot reproach him for the lack of qualities 
which he did not possess. His interests were in that 
humanity whose life centred in the great metropolis. 
His feeling was that of Catullus, " that is my^settled 
abode, there do I pluck the blooms of life," or of 
Cicero, " I am gripped by a marvellous love of the 
city/' But unlike his two great predecessors he 
was forced to doubt whether he was ever to behold 
that loved city again. No wonder that the longing 
to return became with him an obsession, no wonder 
that to a man of his tastes Tomis was the hardest 
element in his fate. 

A few congenial companions would have greatly 
lightened the tedium of his exile. He had been 
a brilliant declaimer and undoubtedly an equally 
brilliant conversationalist. If there had only been 
some friend with whom he could have whiled away 
the lagging hours in those endless talks which he 
recalls so pleasantly ! But he was forced to talk 
with his friends by letter and in imagination. Cut 
off thus from his friends and from everything that 
he held dear, unable to find or to create for himself 
any real interest in his surroundings, he found his 
chief solace in writing. Poetry had ruined him, 
but he could not lightly abandon his very nature 
and the practice of a lifetime. He was a born poet 
and he felt an irresistible impulse to write. Poetic 
composition not only comforted him and hastened 
the dragging hours, but although it had injured 
him he had hoped that, perhaps, like Telephus of 



old, he would be healed by the very weapon that 
had wrought him harm ; he sought no fame, but 
poetry was the best means in his power of making 
a personal effort in his own behalf. Therefore he 
wrote, and the verse of this period, apart from its 
references to others, throws interesting lights upon 
his own work and his own methods. 

Ovid was a very careful artist, severe in self- 
criticism, although he was a generous critic of 
others. Occasionally he speaks of hurried com- 
position, but his habit was quite the opposite. He 
toiled over his work, and his verse smells of the lamp. 
Before his exile he had followed the practice, common 
at the time, of reading his poetry to discerning 
friends in order to profit by their advice, and to 
revise it carefully before publication. In Tomis he 
complains that there was nobody to whom he could 
read it ; he had to be his own critic, and he shrank 
from the task of revision. Moreover, all the condi- 
tions favourable for good work were lacking an 
untroubled mind, peaceful surroundings, abundant 
books, the stimulus of an audience (P. iv. 2. 29 ff.). 
He has so little opportunity to speak Latin that he 
fears lest barbarisms creep into his work. His 
talent is broken and the stream of his inspiration is 
dried up. He recognizes the faults of his work 
and admits that it is poor stuff, not better than 
his lot. Again and again he asks indulgence for it. 

Poetry written by such a man amid such surround- 
ings was inevitably monotonous and aroused criticism. 
The almost unvarying sadness of its tone, the con- 
stant repetition of the same appeal were criticized. 
He admits the charge ; his poetry is conditioned by 
his lot and by his purpose, and he regards possible 

xx xi 


advantage to himself as preferable to fame ; if he 
could be restored to his home he would be gay as 
of old, though he would never again attempt wanton 
verse . l 

And yet, although his work of necessity fell short of 
his ideals, he was conscious that it was good enough 
to be read, for the host of readers of which he boasts 
must have included many who were not interested 
solely in the work of his happier years. His great 
reputation also must have interested many in the 
poetry of a fallen idol, even if from mere curiosity 
to discover how that idol comported himself in 
exile. He affirms, moreover, that to be named in 
his verse was to receive fame. This affirmation was 
not mere convention, nor was it entirely for the 
purpose of propaganda that he published these 
poems. He believed that they were worth pub- 
lishing. And he was right. They are too pervasively 
gloomy, although the reader will find not a few 
exceptions to the rule, and their purpose is too 
obviously pressed. Nevertheless as human docu- 
ments they possess great interest in spite of the 
author's weakness and slavish fawning. 

Their chief interest, however, lies in their art. 
Ovid possessed remarkable powers over language : 
he was a great phrase-maker. He was also one of 
the greatest of metricians. These are high qualities, 
and in the poems from exile they are scarcely 
impaired at all, in spite of the fact that here as 
elsewjiere in Ovid they often degenerate into mere 
juggling with words. But when the poet is at his 
best there is the old skill in the use of a remarkably 
simple vocabulary, the old simplicity of structure, the 

1 T. v. 1. 


same limpid clearness and skilful arrangement, the 
same sweetness and melody in the verse. No 
translation can hope to render all this. It cannot be 
separated from the Latin. But the translator can 
at least use simple English ; he can try to be clear 
and to hint at the beauties of the order. He can 
do little else. Ovid destroyed much that he wrote, 
he tells us, and the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto 
are the cream of his years of exile. Considering 
the fact that they represent eight or nine years of 
work their bulk is not great. Because of the 
monotony of their content and tone and the almost 
constant obtrusion of mere rhetorical trickery they 
will never be popular, and yet they contain much 
that is admirable. To those who can be patient 
with Ovid, who like good writing for its own sake, 
the poems from exile will always make a strong 


In P. iv. 6. 16 there is a reference to the death 
of Augustus together with the statement (v. 5) that 
Ovid has passed an Olympiad of five years in Scythia. 
Augustus died August 19, A.D. 14. Therefore P. 
iv. 6 was written in the autumn of A.D. 14, and the 
poet had been in Tomis since A.D. 9 (probably summer 
at latest). The poems of T. i. were all written 
during his journey into exile (T. i. 1 1. 1 ff.), and since 
he refers in this book to December and winter 
(T. i. 11. 3 ff., 39, etc.), but mentions no discomforts 
of a winter journey through the Thracian mountains, 
and since he travelled so leisurely that he received 
news from home (T. i. 6. 8 ff., i. 9. 39 f.), it is very 
probable that he left Rome in the autumn or early 


winter of A.D. 8. Moreover, T. iv. 10. 95 f. implies 
that he was fifty when he was ordered into exile (cf. 
Ibis 1). If he is speaking at all precisely, we may 
infer that the order came after March 20, A.D. 8, his 
fiftieth birthday. On this basis we may establish 
the following table : 

T. i. Composed during the winter, A.D. 8-9. 

T. ii. Composed A.D. 9- Tiberius is still warring 
in Pannonia, and Ovid has not heard of the 
close of the war and of Tiberius 's transfer to 
Germany after the defeat of Varus (cf. vv. 
177, 225 ff.). 

T. iii. Composed A.D. 9-10. Germany has rebelled 
(cf. iii. 12. 47 ff.). The defeat of Varus 
occurred in the late summer or autumn 
A.D. 9- 

T. iv. Composed A.D. 10-11. Tiberius is cam- 
paigning against the Germans (A.D. 10, cf. 
iv. 2. 2). Ovid has passed two summers away 
from home (i.e. autumn of A.D. 10, cf. iv. 6. 19), 
and two winters (i.e. the spring of either A.D. 
10 or 11 is meant, according as we interpret 
the passage to refer to two winters since the 
poet left Rome, or two passed in Tomis, cf. 
iv. 7. 1 f.). 

T. v. Composed A.D. 11-12, cf. v. 10. 1 (after three 
winters or in the third winter in Pontus, i.e. 
in the winter, cf. A.D. 11-12, or spring of 
A.D. 12). Also Ovid has not yet heard of the 
triumph of Tiberius, January 16, A.D. 13, 1 i.e. 
he is writing before that date. 

1 Cf. H. Schulz, Quaestiones Ovid., 1883, p. 15, and 
Mommsen, Provinces (Engl. transl.), i. p. 55. 



P. i.-iii. were published as a unit, cf. the proem 
(i. 1) and the epilogue (iii. 9) to Brutus. 

P. i.-iii. Composed A.D. 12-13. The triumph is 
expected, i.e. before January 16, A.D. 13, 
and therefore late in A.D. 12, cf. iii. 3. 86. 
Other references to the triumph imply that 
Ovid is writing not long before it or not long 
after it, i.e. in the latter part of A.D. 12 or 
the early part of A.D. 13, cf. ii. 1. 1 and 46 ; 
ii. 2. 75; ii. 5. 27; iii. 1. 1,36; iii. 4. 3 if. 
Also Ovid is in Tomis for the fourth winter, 
i.e. the winter of 12-13 A.D., cf. i. 2. 26, and 
for the fourth autumn, i.e. the autumn of 
A.D. 12, cf. i. 8. 27. Lastly iv. 4 was sent to 
Sex. Pompey before he entered on his consul- 
ship in A.D. I!-, i.e. this poem of the fourth 
book was written in the latter part of A.D. 13. 
It is quite possible that some of the letters 
which cannot be dated may have been written 
before some of the later Tristia. 

P. iv. Composed A.D. 13-16. P. iv. 4 belongs to 
A.D. 13 (see above), iv. 5 to A.D. 14, since it 
was written after Pompey became consul, 
iv. 6 was written after Augustus's death, i.e. 
in the autumn A.D. 14. The sixth summer 
(iv. 10. 1) and the sixth winter (iv. 13. 40) in 
Tomis are mentioned, i.e. the summer of 
A.D. 14 and the winter of A.D. 14-15. The 
latest reference is that to the consulship of 
Graecinus (iv. 9- 4), and since he was consul 
suffectus A.D. 16, arid the letter w r as intended 
to reach him on the day he took office 
in May, it was probably written early in 
A.D. 16, 



Thus the letters of P. iv., so far as they can be 
dated, were composed A.D. 13-16, but some of the 
letters which cannot be dated may have been 
written a little before or a little after this period. 
Since the book has no proem and several of the 
letters are addressed to persons not mentioned 
before, it is probable that Ovid did not himself 
collect these letters for publication in book form. 
Perhaps, on the other hand, he was preparing to 
do so, for iv. 16 has the air of having been written 
as an epilogue. It is a variation on that assertion 
of fame which was a convention with Augustan poets, 
only, since Ovid regarded himself as already dead 
to the world, Horace's non omnis mortar becomes 
here a non omnis mortuus sum. 

The internal evidence already cited shows that 
it was Ovid's custom to send each letter separately 
to its recipient, and when enough letters had 
accumulated to collect them for publication in book 
form. At the time of publication it is possible 
that he excluded some letters which had been sent 
separately ; certainly he added the introductory 
and perhaps some of the closing poems. Each book, 
save T. ii., which is one long composition, and 
P. iv. (see above), is provided with such poems, and 
the same is true of P. i.-iii., which for purposes of 
publication formed a unit. With this exception 
each book also was published separately (cf. T. v. 
1. 1 f.). 

The arrangement of letters within the books is 
not chronological. This is proved for the Pontic 
Epistles by the chronological references which they 
contain, and by Ovid's statement that the pieces 
of P. i.-iii. were collected " without order " (P. iii. 


9. 53), which refers primarily if not exclusively to 
chronological order, and it is probable for the Tristia. 
since at least the proems do not owe their positions 
to considerations of chronology. We should make 
an exception to this general principle when pairs 
of letters to the same person occur within a book. 
Such pairs seem to be in chronological order. The 
letters are therefore not arranged chronologically 
but so as to present as much variety as possible. 

As Ovid himself states (P. i. 1. 15 ff.), the Tristia 
do not differ essentially from the Pontic Epistles except 
that, so far as the epistolary form is concerned, the 
recipients of the Tristia are not addressed by name. 
The term epistula is in fact used of one of the Tristia 
(T. v. 4. 1). In the Tristia only the members of 
the imperial house are addressed by name * ; in the 
Pontic Epistles all the persons addressed are named 
save two enemies (P. iv. 3 and 16) and one friend 
who was still afraid to be connected so openly with 
the exile (P. iii. 6). 

Saint Jerome, in his continuation of the Chronicle 
ofEusebius says, under the year A.D. 16 or (according 
to some manuscripts) 17, that Ovid died in exile 
and was buried near Tomis. The dates agree well 
with the latest datable reference in the poems from 
exile the consulship of Graecinus, A.D. 16. The 
date A.D. 18, which is often given, is based on Fasti 
i. 223-226, a reference to the restoration of the temple 
of Janus, near the theatre of Marcellus, which was 
completed by Tiberius in that year. But this 
restoration was begun by Augustus, and Ovid's 
words do not certainly imply that the work was 
completed at the time he was writing. 
1 Except Perilla (T. iii. 7). 



A smaller share of the fame which Ovid often 
prophesies for his verse fell to the poems from exile 
than to other parts of his work, especially the 
Metamorphoses, and yet there is abundant evidence 
that this poetry of his declining years has been read 
almost continuously from his own time to ours. 
During the centuries of the Empire it is constantly 
mentioned and often imitated by the poets, both 
pagan and Christian, although the prose writers 
contain few references. From early in the second 
century to the first half of the fourth there is a 
period of silence, but the references then begin once 
more and continue through the Carlovingian Age 
and the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. If space 
permitted, a long list of poets might be given who 
knew and used these works of Ovid. 

In the Middle Ages Ovid was, with Vergil and 
Horace, one of the best known Roman writers. 
Many library catalogues contain lists of his works, 
Latin poems such as the Nux, the Elegia de Philomela, 
the Laus Pisonis, were attributed to him, and new 
poems composed in imitation of him were published 
under his name. The great vogue of the Tristia, 
and in less degree the Pontic Epistles, came in the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They were used 
for the construction of fanciful lives of the poet 
and even introduced into schools. They were much 
imitated and pillaged ; in the fourteenth century 
Alberto Mussato, the friend of Dante, composed a 
cento from the Tristia, and Dante himself made use 
of the Tristia together with the other works of 
Ovid. To this interest we owe the numerous 
manuscripts which date from this period, and the 
careful study devoted to the poet is manifest in 


the throng of interpolations, showing knowledge 
of the verse technique, with which these manuscripts 
are filled. In the fifteenth century the number of 
manuscripts greatly increased and two editiones 
principes appeared in 1471, at Rome and Bologna 
respectively. Both are folios in two volumes, and 
both include, in addition to the Tristia and Pontic 
Epistles, together with most of the other authentic 
works, some of the poems wrongly attributed to 

The influence of Ovid on the literatures of modern 
Europe lias been very great and extends to writers 
of the first rank Goethe, Shakespeare, etc. but 
it is impossible to discuss it here. The subject lias by 
no means been thoroughly investigated, but the works 
cited in the Bibliography will give the reader at 
least a general idea of its extent and its importance. 


The text of the Tristia depends in the main upon seven 
manuscripts, several of which are fragmentary : 

6, the Treves fragment, of the tenth century, containing 
only T. ii. 11. 1-31, 33-ii. 21; and "iv. 4. 3.5-65, 
67-v. 9. 

L, in the Laurentian Library. Parts of this MS. 
belong to the eleventh century, parts to the 
fifteenth, and there is a lacuna of 398 lines (iii. 7- 
2-iv. 1. 11). Because of the fragmentary condition 
of B the older parts of L are the mainstay of the 

A, probably of the eleventh century, a MS. now lost, 
many of whose readings are known from marginalia 
by Poliziano in an edition now in the Bodleian 



G, of the thirteenth century, a MS. at Wolffenbuttel. 
H, of the thirteenth century, a MS. at Holkham House, 

seat of the Earl of Leicester. 
P, of the fifteenth century, a Vatican MS. 
V, of the thirteenth century, also in the Vatican. 

The last five manuscripts constitute the second class 
and are most important where B and L are not available. 
All five come from some source which contained many 
interpolations (glosses, conjectures, etc.), so that it is 
often very difficult on their evidence alone to ascertain 
the right reading. 

Occasional help is derived from a third class, the 
inferior manuscripts. Readings derived from these are 
marked by the symbol r. The deflorationes also (excerpts 
made in the Middle Ages) are of some service. 

The best manuscripts of the Pontic Epistles represent 
(except II, which contains the Tristia also) a different 
tradition from that of the Tristia. The most important 
are : 

G, of the sixth century, a mere fragment containing 
only P. iv. 9, 101-108, 127-133, and iv. 12, 15-19, 
Class I. : 

A, of the ninth century, at Hamburg ; fragmentary, 

containing only P. i.-iii. 2. 67, except i. 3 which 
is omitted. 

B, of the twelfth century, at Munich (No. 384). 

C, of the twelfth century, at Munich (No. 19,476). 
Class II. : 

E, of the thirteenth century, at Eton. 

H, of the thirteenth century, at Holkham House. 

O, of the fifteenth century, in the Bodleian. 

Other manuscripts of this class and also the later 
manuscripts (s~) are of occasional service. These manu- 
scripts, like those of the same period of the Tristia, have 
been much tinkered. 

G and A are best. When these are not available, B 9 
afford the best basis, supplemented by E, II, O. 


Some light is thrown on the text of the Tristia and Ex 
Ponto by inscriptions and the testimony of other Latin 
writers, but this material is meagre. 

The text of the present volume is based in the main 
upon that of R. Ehwald, Leipzig, 1884 (Teubner text) 1 
together with the many modifications suggested by the 
same scholar's publications since 1884. But the trans- 
lator has also profited greatly by the labours of other 
scholars, especially S. G. Owen (see Bibliog.). The 
present text differs in hundreds of places from both 
Ehwald and Owen. 

In the brief critical apparatus an effort has been made 
(1) to indicate all passages in which the text adopted 
does not rest on good sources, and (2) to give a running 
selection of variants contained in the better sources. 
Thus, a reading reprinted in the critical apparatus with 
an appended b~ is taken from the later and inferior manu- 
scripts ; a reading followed by the name of a scholar 
is a conjecture by that scholar. Variants printed without 
symbols are always derived from one or more of the 
better manuscripts. This system has been adopted to 
save space, since the purpose of the critical apparatus is 
merely to indicate to readers who may be interested the 
corrupt passages and to give some idea of the extent to 
which the manuscripts have been interpolated. For 
full lists of variants Owen's editions should be consulted. 

1 The translator regrets that the new edition of this text 
by R. Ehwald and F. Levy came into his hands after the 
final proofs of this volume had been corrected, and so could 
not be used. 



Benger, G., Rumania in 1900. Translated by A. H. 

Keane, London, 1900. 
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Boissier, 1903. 
Boissier, G., L' Opposition sous les Cesar *, Paris, 1909, pp. 

106-159 (on Ovid's exile). 
De la Ville de Mirmont, H., La Jeunesse d'Ovide, Paris, 

Mtillenhoff, K., Deutsche Altertumskunde, Dritter Band, 

Berlin, 1892, pp. 125 if. (on the Getae). 
Ne*methy, G., Commentarius eocegeticus ad Ovidii Tristia, 

Budapestini, 1913. Excursus I. De tertia Ovidii 

uxore. II., De causa relegationis. 
Pick, B., and Regling, R., Antike Miinzen Nordgriechen- 

lands, Berlin, 1898, 1910 (on Tomis and its history). 
Pittard, E., La Roumanie, Paris, 1917. 
Schulze, W., " Zur Geschichte lateinischer Eigennamen," 

Abhandlungen der Konigl. Gesellschaft der Wissen- 

schaften zu Gb'ttingen, Philolog.-hist. Klasse, Berlin, 



Graeber, G., Quacstiones Ovidianae. Pars I. Elberfeld, 

Graeber, G., Untersuchungcn fiber Ovids Brief e aus der 

Verbannung (Part II. of Graeber 's work on chronology 

and the persons addressed), Elberfeld, 1884. 
Prosopographia Imperil Romani 9 edited by E. Klebs and 

others, Berolini, 1897-98. 
Wartenburg, G., Quaestiones Ovidianae, etc., Berolini, 




Ehwald, R., Ad historiam carminum Ovidianorum re- 

censionemque symbolae, i. Gothae, 1889, ii. Gothae, 

Ehwald, R., Kritische Beitrage zu Ovids Epistulae ex Ponto, 

Gotha, 1896. 
Owen, S. G., Prolegomena to his edition of the Tristia, 

Oxford, 1889. 
Schreuders, O., Observations in P. Ovidii Nasonis ex Ponto 

libros i.-iii., Lugduni Batavorum, 1895. 
Tank, F., De Tristibus Ovidii recensendis, Stettini, 1879. 
Vogel, P., Kritische und cxegetische Bemerkungen zu 

Ovids Tristien, Schneeburg, 1891. 


Ehwald, R. (see preceding section, first title). 

Manitius, M., " Beitrage zur Geschichte des Ovidius, etc., 

im Mittelalter," Philologus, Supplement band vii., 

1899, pp. 723-767. 
Owen, S. G., Edition of Tristia, 1889, pp. 247-267 (list of 

imitations by Ovid and of Ovid). 
Owen, S. G., " Ovid and Romance," in the volume 

entitled English Literature and the Classics, ed. by 

G. S. Gordon, Oxford, 1912. 
Root, R. K., Classical Mythology in Shakespeare, New York, 

Schevill, R., Ovid and the Renascence in Spain, Univ. of 

California, 1913. 
Paris, G., " Chretien Legouais et les autres traducteurs 

on imitateurs d'Ovide," in Ilistoire Hit. de la France, 

tome xxix. (1885), pp. 455-525. 

Paris, G., la Potsie du moyen age, 1887, pp. 189-209. 
Langlois, E., Origines et sources du Roman de la Rose, 

Paris, 1891. 
Zingerle, A., Zu spdteren lateinischen Dichtern (two parts), 

Oeniponti, 1873, 1879. 
Zingerle, A., Martials Ovidstudien, Oeniponti, 1877- 




Ehwald, R., and A. Riese, Reviews of work on Ovid in 
Bursian's Jahresbericht liber die Fortschritte der 
klassischen Altertumswissennchaft, 1873-1919. (The 
earlier reviews are by A. Riese.) 

Schanz, M., GescJnchte der rdmiscJien Littcratur, vol. viii. 
2. 1 (1911) of I. Muller's Handbuch der klassischen 
Alter tumswissenschaft. 


Editiones principes. Rome and Bologna, 1471. (See 

p. xxxix.) 
N. Heinsius, revised by J. F. Fischer (all the works). 

Lipsiae, 1758 (\vith word index). 
R. Merkel and R. Ehwald, vol. iii. Tristia, Ex Ponto, etc. 

Teubner text. Lipsiae, 1884. (A new edition by 

R. Ehwald and F. Levy appeared in 1922.) 
R. Merkel, Tristia and Ibis. Annotated. Berlin, 1837. 
A. Riese, Tauchnitz text (all the works). Lipsiae, 1871-74. 
V. Loers, Tristia. Annotated. Trier, 1839. 
G. Ndmethy, Tristia. Commentarius exegeticus. Buda- 

pestini, 1913. 
S. G, Owen, Tristia. Elaborate edition with Prolegomena, 

etc. Oxford, 1889. 
S. G. Owen, Tristia, Ibis, Epistulae ex Ponto, fragments. 

Oxford text, 1915. 

E. Cocchia, Tristia. Annotated. Turin, 1900. 
O. Korn, Epistulae ex Ponto. Lipsiae, 1868. 
G. N^methy, Epistulae ex Ponto. Commentarius exe- 

geticus. Budapestini, 1915. 

Full lists of editions may be found in Owen's edition 
of the Tristia, 1889, and in Schanz 's Geschichte der 
rfimischcn Litteratur. Besides complete editions many 
selections or editions of single books have been published. 





Parve nee invideo sine me, liber, ibis in urbern. 

ei mihi, quod ] domino non licet ire tuo ! 
vade, sed incultus, qualem decet exulis esse ; 

infelix habitum temporis huius habe. 
5 nee te purpureo velent vaccinia fuco 

non est conveniens luctibus ille color 
nee titulus minio, nee cedro charta notetur, 

Candida nee nigra cornua fronte geras. 
felices ornent haec instrumenta libellos ; 
10 fortunae memorem te decet esse meae. 
nee fragili geminae poliantur purnice frontes, 

hirsutus sparsis ut videare cornis. 
neve liturarum pudeat ; qui viderit illas, 

de lacrimis factas sentiet 2 esse meis. 
15 vade, liber, verbisque meis loca grata saluta : 

contingam certe quo licet ilia pede. 
siquis, ut in populo, nostri non inmemor illi, 3 

siquis, qui, quid agam, forte requirat, crit, 

1 cum vel quo 2 sentiat corr. r 3 illo 

1 The order of the poems is not chronological. (See 
Introd. p. xxxvi.) 




LITTLE book, you will go without me and T 
grudge it not to the city. Alas that your master 
is not allowed to go ! Go, but go unadorned, as 
becomes the book of an exile ; in your misfortune 
wear the garb that befits these days of mine. You 
shall have no cover dyed with the juice of purple 
berries no fit colour is that for mourning ; your 
title shall not be tinged with vermilion nor your 
paper with oil of cedar ; and you shall wear no 
white bosses upon your dark edges. 2 Books of good 
omen should be decked with such things as these ; 
'tis my fate that you should bear in mind. Let no 
brittle pumice polish your two edges ; I would have 
you appear with locks all rough and disordered. 
Be not ashamed of blots ; he who sees them will 
feel that they were caused by my tears. 

15 Go, my book, and in my name greet the loved 
places : I will tread them at least with what foot 3 
I may. If, as is natural in so great a throng, there 
shall be any there who still remembers me, any 
who may perchance ask how I fare, you are to say 

2 In Ovid's time the Roman book was a roll. The ends 
of the rod (bosses, knobs) were called cornua (** horns "). 

8 i.e. metrical foot. 



vivere me dices, salvum tamen esse negabis ; 
20 id quoque, quod vivam, munus habere del. 
atque ita tu tacitus quaerenti plura legendus l 

ne, quae non opus est, forte loquare, cave ! 
protinus admonitus repetet mea crimina lector, 

et peragar populi publicus ore reus. 
25 tu cave defendas, quamvis mordebere dictis ; 

causa patrocinio non bona maior 2 erit. 
invenies aliquem, qui me suspiret ademptum, 

carmina nee siccis perlegat ista genis, 
et tacitus secum, ne quis malus audiat, optet, 
30 sit mea lenito Caesare poena levis. 

nos quoque, quisquis erit, ne sit miser ille, precamur, 

placatos miseris qui volet esse deos ; 
quaeque volet, rata sint, ablataque principis ira 

sedibus in patriis det mihi posse mori. 
35 ut peragas mandata, liber, culpabere forsan 

ingeniique minor laude ferere mei. 
iudicis officium est ut res, ita tempora rerum 

quaerere. quaesito tempore tutus eris. 
carmina proveniunt ammo deducta sereno ; 
40 nubila sunt subitis tempora nostra malis. 
carmina secessum scribentis et otia quaerunt ; 

me mare, me venti, me fera iactat hiems. 
carminibus metus omnis obest 3 ; ego perditus ensem 

haesurum iugulo iam puto iamque meo. 
45 haec quoque quod facio, iudex mirabitur aequus, 
scriptaque cum venia qualiacumque leget. 

1 legend um corr. Ehwald * peior T 

8 abest corr. Francius 

TRISTIA, I. i. 19-46 

that I live, yet not in health and happiness ; that 
even the fact of life I hold to be the gift of a god. 
Except for this be silent for he who asks more 
must read you and take care that you chance not 
to say what you should not ; forthwith, if but a 
reminder be given, the reader will recall my sins, 
and I shall still be convicted by the people's voice 
as a public criminal. Do you take care to make no 
defence though attacked with biting words ; my 
case is not a good one, and will prove too difficult 
for advocacy. You are to find one who sighs 
over my exile, reading your lines with cheeks that 
are not dry, one who will utter a silent prayer 
unheard by any ill-wisher, that through the soften- 
ing of Caesar's anger my punishment may be 
lightened. On my part I pray that whoever he 
may be, suffering may not come to him who wishes 
the gods to be kind to suffering. May his wish be 
fulfilled ! May the removal of the Prince's wrath 
grant me the power to die at home in my country ! 

35 Though you should carry out my directions 
you will be criticized perchance, my book, and re- 
garded as beneath the glory of my genius. Tis 
a judge's duty to investigate both the circumstances 
and the time" of an act. If they ask the time you 
will be secure. Poetry comes fine spun from a 
mind at peace ; my days are clouded with un- 
expected woes. Poetry requires the writer to be 
in privacy and ease ; I am harassed by the sea, by 
gales, by wintry storms. Poetry is injured by any 
fear ; I in my ruin am ever and ever expecting a 
sword to pierce my throat. Even the making of 
such verse as this will surprise a fair-minded critic 
and he will read these verses with indulgence, how- 



da mihi Maeoniden et tot circumice l casus, 

ingenium tantis excidet omne mails, 
denique securus famae, liber, ire memento, 
50 nee tibi sit lecto displicuisse pudor. 

non ita se nobis praebet Fortuna secundam, 

ut tibi sit ratio laudis habenda tuae. 
donee eram sospes, tituli tangebar amore, 

quaerendique mihi nominis ardor erat. 
55 carmina nunc si non studiumque, quod obfuit, odi, 

sit satis ; ingenio sic fuga parta meo. 
tu tamen i pro me, tu, cui licet, aspice Romam. 

di facerent, possem nunc meus esse liber ! 
nee te, quod venias magnam peregrinus in urbem, 
60 ignotum populo posse venire puta. 
ut titulo careas, ipso noscere colore ; 

dissimulare velis, te liquet esse meum. 
clam tamen intrato, ne te mea carmina lacdant ; 

non sunt ut quondam plena favoris erant. 
65 siquis erit, qui te, quia sis meus, esse legendum 

non putet, e gremio reiciatque suo, 
" inspice " die " titulum. non sum praeceptor 

amoris ; 

quas meruit, poenas iam dedit illud opus/' 

forsitan expectes, an in alta Palatia missum 

70 scandere te iubeam Caesareamque domurn. 

ignoscant augusta mihi loca dique locorum 1 

venit in hoc ilia fulmen ab arce caput. 

1 circumice Heinsius : circumspice 


TRISTIA, I. i. 47-72 

ever poor they are. Pray bring the Maeonian 1 
and cast just as many dangers about him ; all his 
genius will fall away in the presence of such great 

49 Take heed, then, my book, to go untroubled 
about fame, and be not ashamed that your readers 
gain no pleasure. Fortune is not now so favourable 
to me that you should take account of your praise. 
In the time of my security I was touched by the 
love of renown, and I burned to win a name. Now 
let it be enough if I do not hate poetry and the 
pursuit which has injured me ; through that my 
own wit has brought me exile. But do you go in 
my stead, do you, who are permitted to do so, gaze 
on Rome ! Would that the gods might grant me 
now to be my book ! and think not, because you 
enter into the great city as one from foreign lands, 
that you can come as a stranger to the people. 
Though you should lack a title, your very style will 
bring recognition ; though you should wish to 
play the deceiver, it is clear that you are mine. 
And yet enter secretly, that my verses may not 
harm you ; they are not popular as once they were. 
If there shall be anybody who thinks you unworthy 
to be read for the reason that you are mine and 
repels you from his breast, say to him, " Examine 
the title. I am not the teacher of love ; that work 2 
has already paid its deserved penalty." 

69 Perchance you are waiting to see if I shall 
send you to the lofty Palatine and bid you mount 
to Caesar's house. May those places of awe and 
the gods of those places grant me pardon ! It was 
from that citadel that the bolt fell upon this head 
1 Homer. 2 A reference to the Ars amatoria. 



esse quidem mernini mitissima sedibus illis 

numina, sed timeo qui nocuere deos. 
75 terretur minimo pennae stridore columba, 

unguibus, accipiter, saucia facta tuis. 
nee procul a stabulis audet discedere, siqua 

excussa est avidi dentibus agna lupi. 
vitaret caelum Phaethon, si viveret, et quos 
80 optarat stulte, tangere nollet equos. 

me quoque, quae sensi, fateor lovis arma timere : 

me reor infesto, cum tonat, igne peti. 
quicumque Argolica de classe Capherea fugit, 

semper ab Euboicis vela retorsit l aquis ; 
85 et mea cumba semel vasta percussa procella 

ilium, quo laesa est, horret adire locum, 
ergo cave, liber, et timida circumspice m^nte> 

ut satis a media sit tibi plebe legi. 
dum petit infirmis nimium sublimia peniiis 
90 Icarus, aequoreas nomine fecit aquas. 2 
difficile est tarn en hinc, remis utaris an aura, 
dicere : consilium resque locusque dabunt. 
si poteris vacuo tradi, si cuncta videbis 

mitia, si vires fregerit ira suas, 
95 siquis erit, qui te dubitantem et adire timentem 

tradat, et ante tamen pauca loquatur, adi. 
luce bona dominoque tuo felicior ipso 
pervenias illuc et mala nostra leves. 
namque ea vel nemo, vel qui mihi vulnera fecit 
100 solus Achilleo tollere more potest. 

1 retorquet corr. Bentley 
8 Icarias : aequoreis nomina fecit aquis 5" 

TRISTIA, I. i. 73-100 

of mine. There are, I know, in those shrines deities 
of exceeding mercy, but I still fear the gods who 
have wrought me harm. The least rustle of a 
feather brings dread upon the dove that thy talons, 

hawk, have wounded. Nor does any lamb, 
once wrested from the teeth of a ravenous wolf, 
venture to go far from the fold. Phaethon would 
avoid the sky if he were alive ; the steeds which 
in his folly he desired, he would refuse to touch. 

1 too admit for I have felt it that I fear the 
weapon of Jupiter : I believe myself the target of a 
hostile bolt whenever the thunder roars. Every 
man of the Argive fleet who escaped the Capherean 
rocks always turned his sails away from the waters 
of Euboea ; and even so my bark, once shattered by 
a mighty storm, dreads to approach that place where 
it was wrecked. Therefore be careful, my book, 
and look all around with timid heart, so as to find 
content in being read by ordinary folk. By seeking 
too lofty heights on weak wings Icarus gave a name 
to waters of the sea. Yet from this position of 
mine 'tis hard to say whether you should use the 
oars or the breeze. You will be advised by the 
time and the place. If you can be handed to him L 
when he is at leisure, if you see everything kindly 
disposed, if his anger has lost its keenness, if there 
is anybody, while you are hesitating in fear to 
approach, who will hand you to him, introducing 
you with but a few brief words then approach him. 
On a lucky day and with better fortune than 
your master may you arrive there and lighten my 
misfortunes. For either nobody can remove them 
or, in the fashion of Achilles, that man only who 

1 The Emperor. 



tantum ne noceas, dum vis prodesse, vide to 

nam spes est animi nostra timore minor 
quaeque quiescebat, ne mota resaeviat ira 

et poenae tu sis altera causa, cave ! 
105 cum tamen in nostrum fueris penetrale receptus, 

contigerisque tuam, scrinia curva, domum, 
aspicies illic positos ex ordine fratres, 

quos studium cunctos evigilavit idem, 
cetera turba palam titulos ostendet apertos, 
110 et sua detecta nomina fronte geret ; 

tres procul obscura latitantes parte videbis, 

sic quoque, 1 quod nemo nescit, amare docent. 
hos tu vel fugias, vel, si satis oris habebis, 

Oedipodas facito Telegonosque voces. 
115 deque tribus, moneo, si qua est tibi cura parentis, 

ne quemquam, quamvis ipse docebit, ames. 
sunt quoque mutatae, ter quinque volumina, formae, 

nuper ab exequiis carmina rapta meis. 
his mando dicas, inter mutata referri 
120 fortunae vultum corpora posse meae. 

namque ea dissimilis subito est effecta priori, 

flendaque mine, aliquo tempore laeta fuit. 
plura quidem mandare tibi, si quaeris, habebam, 

sed vereor tardae causa fuisse morae 2 ; 
125 et si quae subeunt, tecum, liber, omnia ferres, 

sarcina laturo magna futurus eras. 

1 hi qui vel hi quoque : sic quoque Bentley 
2 viae 

1 See Index, s.v. Telephus. 

TRISTIA, I. i. 101-126 

wounded me. 1 Only see that you do no harm in 
your wish to help for my hope is smaller than my 
fear and that slumbering wrath ! take care that it 
be not roused to renewed fierceness and that you 
be not to me a second cause of punishment. 

105 But when you find refuge in my sanctuary, 
reaching your own home, the round book-cases, you 
will behold there brothers arranged in order 
brothers whom the same craftmanship produced 
with toil and waking. The rest of the band will 
display their titles openly, bearing their names on 
their exposed edges, but three at some distance 
will strive to hide themselves in a dark place, as 
you will notice even so, as everybody knows, 
they teach how to love. These you should either 
avoid or, if you have the assurance, give them the 
names of Oedipus or of Telegonus. 2 And I warn 
you, if you have any regard for your father, love not 
any one of the three, though he himself teach you. 
There are also thrice five rolls about changing forms, 3 
poems recently saved from the burial of my fortunes. 
To these I bid you say that the aspect of my own 
fate can now be reckoned among those metamor- 
phosed figures. For that aspect has on a sudden 
become quite different from what it was before 
a cause of tears now, though once of joy. More 
directions for you, if you ask me, I have been 
keeping, but I fear to be the cause of lingering delay ; 
and if you were to carry with you, my book, all that 
occurs to me, 'tis likely you would be a heavy burden 
to him who shall bear you. The road is long. Make 

2 Both were parricides, and so, like Ovid's book, destroyed 
the author of their being. 

3 The Metamorphoses in fifteen books. 



longa via est, propera ! nobis habitabitur orbis 
ultimus, a terra terra remota mea. 


Di maris et caeli quid enim nisi vota supersunt ?- 

solvere quassatae parcite membra ratis, 
neve, precor, magni subscribite Caesaris irae ! 

saepe premente deo fert deus alter opem. 
6 Mulciber in Troiam, pro Troia stabat Apollo ; 

aequa Venus Teucris, Pallas iniqua fuit. 
oderat Aenean propior Saturnia Turno ; 

ille tamen Veneris numine tutus erat. 
saepe ferox cautum petiit Neptunus Ulixen ; 
10 eripuit patruo saepe Minerva suo. 

et nobis aliquod, quamvis distamus ab illis, 

quis vetat irato numen adesse deo ? 
verba miser frustra non proficientia perdo. 

ipsa graves spargunt ora loquentis aquae, 
15 terribilisque Notus iactat mea dicta, precesque 

ad quos mittuntur, non sinit ire deos. 
ergo idem venti, ne causa laedar in una, 

velaque nescio quo votaque nostra ferunt. 
me miserurn, quanti montes volvuntur aquarum ! 
20 iam iam tacturos sidera summa putes. 
quantae diducto subsidunt aequore valles ! 

iam iam tacturas Tartara nigra putes. 
quocumque aspicio, nihil est, nisi pontus et aer, 

fluctibus hie tumidus, nubibus ille minax. 

TRISTIA, I. i. 127n. 24 

haste ! I shall continue to dwell at the edge of the 
world, a land far removed from my own. 


O gods of sea and sky for what but prayer is 
left ? break not the frame of our shattered bark 
and second not, I implore, the wrath of mighty 
Caesar ! Oft when a god presses hard another god 
brings succour. Mulciber was opposed to Troy, 
but in Troy's defence stood Apollo ; Venus favoured 
the Teucrians, Pallas favoured them not. There 
was hate for Aeneas on the part of Saturnia who 
stood closely by Turnus ; yet that hero was safe 
through Venus' power. Ofttimes unruly Neptune 
assailed the wily Ulysses ; ofttimes Minerva saved 
him from her own uncle. And different though I 
am from them, who forbids a divine power from 
being of some avail to me against the angry god ? 

13 But, wretch that I am, to no purpose am I 
wasting profitless words. My very lips as I speak 
are sprayed by the heavy waves, and dread Notus 
hurls away my words nor suffers my prayers to 
reach the gods to whom they are directed. So the 
same winds, that I be not punished in one way only, 
are driving I know not whither both my sails 
and my prayers. Wretched me ! what vast moun- 
tains of water heave themselves aloft ! Now, now, 
you think, they will touch the highest stars. What 
mighty abysses settle beneath us as the flood yawns 
apart ! Now, now you think they will touch 
black Tartarus. Wherever I gaze there is naught 
but sea and air sea swollen with billows, air athreat 



25 inter utrumque fremunt inmani murmur e venti. 

nescit, cui domino pareat, unda maris. 
nam modo purpureo vires capit Eurus ab ortu, 

nunc Zephyrus sero vespere missus adest, 
nunc sicca gelidus Boreas bacchatur ab Arc to, 
30 nunc Notus adversa proelia fronte gerit. 
rector in incerto est nee quid fugiatve petatve 

invenit : ambiguis ars stupet ipsa malis. 
scilicet occidimus, nee spes est ulla salutis, 

dumque loquor, vultus obruit unda meos. 
35 opprimet hanc animam fluctus, frustraque precanti 

ore necaturas accipiemus aquas, 
at pia nil aliud quam me dolet exule coniunx : 

hoc unum nostri scitque gemitque mali. 
nescit in inmenso iactari corpora ponto, 
40 nescit agi ventis, nescit adesse necem. 

o bene, quod non sum mecum conscendere passus, 

ne mihi mors misero bis patienda foret ! 
at nunc, ut peream, quoniam caret ilia periclo, 

dimidia certe parte superstes ero. 
45 ei mihi, quam celeri micuerunt nubila flamma ! 

quantus ab aetherio personat axe fragor ! 
nee levius tabulae laterum feriuntur ab undis, 

quam grave balistae moenia pulsat onus, 
qui venit hie fluctus, fluctus supereminet omnes : 
60 posterior nono est undecimoque prior, 
nee letum timeo ; genus est miserabile leti. 

demite naufragium, mors mihi munus erit. 
est aliquid, fatove suo ferrove ] cadentem 

in solida 2 moriens ponere corpus humo, 

1 fatove . . . ferrove Heinsius : fatoque . . . ferroque 
2 solita : solida r 

1 The ancient " siege gun," which hurled stones. 

TRISTIA, I. n. 25-54 

with clouds ; and between are the hum and roar 
of the cruel winds. The waves of ocean know not 
what master to obey. For now Eurus storms 
mightily from the red east, now Zephyrus comes 
rushing from the realm of late evening, now Boreas 
raves from the dry pole-star, now Notus battles with 
opposing brow. The helmsman is confused nor 
can he find what to avoid or what to seek ; his very 
skill is numbed by the baffling perils. We are surely 
lost, there is no hope of safety, and as I speak, the 
waters overwhelm my face. The billows will crush 
this life of mine, and with lips that pray in vain I 
shall drink in the destroying water. 

37 But my loyal wife grieves for naught save my 
ex ile that is the only ill of mine she knows and 
bemoans. She knows not that I am buffeted about 
on the vast sea, knows not that I am harried by the 
winds, knows not that death is near me. Ah, well 
it was that I suffered her not to board ship with me, 
else I, poor wretch, should now be forced to suffer a 
double death ! But as it is, even though I perish, 
in her freedom from peril at least I shall half survive. 
Alas ! what a swift glitter of flame from the clouds ! 
What a mighty crash roars from the zenith ! And 
no lighter blow falls upon her planks from the 
billows than the heavy pounding of the balista 1 
upon a wall. Here comes a wave that o'ertops 
them all the wave after the ninth and before the 
eleventh. I fear not death ; 'tis the form of death 
that I lament. Save me from shipwreck and death 
will be a boon. Tis something worth if falling by 
fate 2 or by the steel one rests in death upon the 
solid ground, utters some parting words to friends, 
2 i.e. natural death. 



65 et mandare suis aliqua et 1 sperare sepulcrum 

et non aequoreis piscibus esse cibum. 
fingite me dignum tali nece, non ego solus 

hie vehor. inmeritos cur mea poena trahit ? 
pro superi viridesque dei, quibus aequora curae, 
60 utraque iam vestras sistite turba minas, 
quamque dedit vitam mitissima Caesaris ira, 

hanc sinite infelix in loca iussa feram. 
si quantam 2 merui, poena me perdere vultis, 

culpa mea est ipso iudice morte minor. 
65 mittere me Stygias si iam voluisset in undas 

Caesar, in hoc vestra non eguisset ope. 
est illi nostri non invidiosa cruoris 

copia ; quodque dedit, cum volet, ipse feret. 
vos modo, quos certe nullo, puto, crimine laesi, 
70 contenti nostris iam, precor, este malis ! 
nee tamen, ut cuncti miserum servare velitis, 
quod periit, salvum iam caput esse potest. 
ut mare considat ventisque ferentibus utar, 

ut mihi parcatis, non minus exul ero. 
75 non ego divitias avidus sine fine parandi 
latum mutandis mercibus aequor aro, 
nee peto, quas quondam petii studiosus, Athenas, 

oppida non Asiae, non loca visa prius, 
non ut Alexandri claram delatus ad urbem 
80 delicias videam, Nile iocose, tuas. 

quod faciles 3 opto ventos, quis credere posset 4 ? 

Sarmatis est tellus, quam mea vela petunt. 
obligor, ut tangam laevi fera litora Ponti ; 
quodque sit a patria tarn 5 fuga tarda, queror. 

1 aliquid et corr. S~ 

2 quoque quam vel quia : quantam Rappold 
3 facile est : faciles Heinsius * possit 6 iam corr. "" 

1 Possibly laevi here means * propitious," ' favouring," cf 


TRISTIA, I. n. 55-84 

and looks forward to a tomb not to be the food of 
fishes in the sea. Suppose me deserving of such a 
death, yet I am not here the only passenger. Why 
does my punishment involve the innocent ? O ye 
gods above and ye of the green flood, who rule the 
waters, stay ye now, both hosts of you, your 
threats. The life that Caesar's merciful wrath has 
granted, let me carry, unhappy man that I am, to 
the appointed place. If ye wish to ruin me with 
a penalty great as I have deserved, my fault even in 
my judge's eyes merits not death. If ere now 
Caesar had wished to send me to the waters of the 
Styx, he had not needed your aid in this. He has 
a power over my life which ye may not begrudge ; 
and what he has granted he will take away when he 
shall wish. But ye, whom surely no crime of mine 
has wronged, be content by now with my woes. 
And yet, though ye be all willing to save a wretch, 
that life which is lost cannot now be safe. Even 
should the sea grow calm and favouring breezes 
bear me on even should ye spare me I shall be 
not less an exile. Not in greed of limitless wealth 
do I plough the sea to trade my wares nor am I 
on my way to Athens as once I was while a student, 
nor to the cities of Asia, nor the places I have seen 
before, nor am I sailing to Alexander's famous 
city to see thy pleasures, merry Nile. The reason 
of my prayers for favouring winds (who could believe 
it ?) is the Sarmatian land, the object of my voyage. 
I am constrained to reach the wild shores of ill- 
omened 1 Pontus, and I complain that my journey 
into exile from my native land is so slow ! That 

6 Euwi/iyxos n6?ros, " Pontus of the fair name.*' Or Ovid means 
" Pontus-on-the-left " (see Introd. p. xxvii). 

c 17 


85 nescio quo videam positos ut in orbe Tomitas, 

exilem facio per mea vota viam. 
sen me diligitis, tantos conpescite fluctus, 

pronaque sint nostrae numina vestra rati ; 
seu magis odistis, iussae me advertite terrae : 
90 supplicii pars est in regione mei. 1 

ferte quid hie facio ? rapidi mea corpora 2 venti ! 

Ausonios fines cur mea vela volunt ? 
noluit hoc Caesar, quid, quem fugat ille, tenetis ? 

aspiciat vultus Pontica terra meos. 
95 et iubet et merui ; nee, quae damnaverit ille, 

crimina defend! fasque piumque puto. 
si tamen acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt, 

a culpa facinus scitis abesse mea. 
immo ita si scitis, si me meus abstulit error, 
100 stultaque mens nobis, non scelerata fuit, 
quod licet et minimis, domui si favimus illi, 

si satis Augusti publica iussa mihi, 
hoc duce si dixi felicia saecula, proque 

Caesare tura piis Caesaribusque dedi, 
105 si fuit hie animus nobis, ita parcite divi ! 

si minus, alta cadens obruat unda caput ! 
fallor, an incipiunt gravidae vanescere nubes, 

victaque mutati frangitur unda maris ? 
non casu, vos sed sub condicione vocati, 
110 fallere quos non est, hanc mihi fertis opem. 


Cum subit illius tristissima noctis imago, 
qua mihi supremum tempus in urbe fuit, 

1 mori : mei ~ * carbasa : corpora T 

1 The grandsons and adopted sons of Augustus. 

TRISTIA, I. ii. 85 in. 2 

I may see the Tomitans, situate in some corner of 
the world, I am trying to shorten the road by prayer ! 

87 If it be that you love me, restrain these mighty 
billows, and let your powers favour my bark ; or if 
you detest me, turn me towards the ordained land ; 
a part of my punishment consists in the place of it. 
Drive me on, ye swift winds ! What have I to do 
here ? Why do my sails crave the Ausonian land ? 
This was not Caesar's will. Why do you detain 
one whom he drives forth ? Let the land of Pontus 
behold my face. He commands it and I have 
deserved it ; nor do I account it lawful and righteous 
to defend the sins that he has condemned. Yet if 
human acts never deceive the gods, ye know that 
no guilty deed is connected with my fault. Nay, 
if such your knowledge, if a mistake of mine has 
carried me away, if stupid was my mind, not criminal, 
if as even the humblest may I have supported 
that house with favour, if the public commands of 
Augustus were in my eyes sufficient ; if under his 
lead 1 have sung of a happy age, and for Caesar and 
the loyal Caesars l I have offered incense ; if such 
has been my spirit, then spare me, gods ! If not, 
may a towering wave fall and whelm my head ! 

107 Am I wrong or do the heavy clouds begin to 
melt away and is the water of the changing sea 
being conquered and subdued ? It is no chance, 
but ye, summoned to hear my pledge, ye whom we 
cannot deceive, are bringing me this succour 1 


When steals upon me the gloomy memory of 
that night which marked my latest hours in the 



cum repeto noctem, qua tot mihi cara reliqui, 

labitur ex oculis nunc quoque gutta meis. 
6 iam prope lux aderat, qua l me discedere Caesar 

finibus extremae iusserat Ausoniae. 
nee spatium nee mens fuerat satis apta parandi : 

torpuerant longa pectora nostra mora. 
non mihi servorum, comites non cura legendi, 
10 non aptae profugo vestis opisve fuit. 

non aliter stupui, quam qui lovis ignibus ictus 

vivit et est vitae nescius ipse suae. 
ut tamen hanc animi nubem dolor ipse removit, 

et tandem sensus convaltiere mei, 
15 adloquor extremum maestos abiturus amicos, 

qui modo de multis unus et alter erant. 
uxor amans flentem flens acrius ipsa tenebat, 

imbre per indignas usque cadente genas. 
nata procul Libycis aberat diversa sub oris, 
20 nee poterat fati certior esse mei. 

quocumque aspiceres, luctus gemitusque sonabant, 

formaque non taciti funeris intus erat. 
femina virque meo, pueri quoque funere maerent, 

inque domo lacrimas angulus omnis habet. 
25 si licet exemplis in parvis 2 grandibus uti, 

haec facies Troiae, cum caperetur, erat. 
iamque quiescebant voces hominumque canumque, 

Lunaque nocturnos alta regebat equos. 
hanc ego suspiciens et ad hanc 3 Capitolia cernens, 
30 quae nostro frustra iuncta fuere Lari, 

" numina vicinis habitantia sedibus," inquam, 

" iamque oculis numquam templa videnda meis, 

1 qua] cum 2 parvo 3 ab hac 


TRISTIA, I. in. 3-32 

city when I recall that night on which I left so 
many things dear to me, even now from my eyes 
the teardrops fall. 

5 Already the morning was close at hand on whicli 
Caesar had bidden me to depart from Ausonia's 
furthest bounds. No time had there been or spirit to 
get ready what might suit best ; my heart had be- 
come numb with the long delay. I took no thought 
to select my slaves or my companions or the clothing 
and outfit suited to an exile. I was as dazed as 
one who, smitten by the fire of Jove, still lives and 
knows not that he lives. But when my very pain 
drove away the cloud upon my mind and at length 
my senses revived, I addressed for the last time 
as I was about to depart my sorrowing friends of 
whom, just now so many, but one or two remained. 
My loving wife was in my arms as I wept, herself 
weeping more bitterly, tears raining constantly 
over her innocent cheeks. My daughter was far 
separated from us on the shores of Libya, and we 
could not inform her of my fate. Wherever you had 
looked was the sound of mourning and lamentation, 
and within the house was the semblance of a funeral 
with its loud outcries. Men and women, children 
too, grieved at this funeral of mine ; in my home 
every corner had its tears. If one may use in a 
lowly case a lofty example, such was the appearance 
of Troy in the hour of her capture. 

27 Now the voices of men and dogs were hushed 
and the moon aloft was guiding her steeds through 
the night. Gazing up at her, and by her light at 
the Capitol, which, all in vain, adjoined my home, 
I prayed : "Ye deities that dwell near by and ye 
temples never henceforth to be seen by my eyes, 



dique relinquendi, quos urbs habet alta Quirini, 

este salutati tempus in omne mihi. 
35 et quamquam sero clipeuni post vulnera sumo, 

attamen bane odiis exonerate fugam, 
caelestique viro, quis me deceperit error, 

dicite, pro culpa ne scelus esse putet, 
ut quod vos seitis, poenae quoque sentiat auctor. 
40 placato possum non miser esse deo." 

hac prece adoravi superos ego, pluribus uxor, 

singultu medios impediente sonos. 
ilia etiam ante Lares ' passis adstrata capillis 

contigit extinctos 2 ore tremente focos, 
45 multaque in adversos effudit verba Penates 

pro deplorato non valitura viro. 
iamque morae spatium nox praccipitata negabat, 

versaque ab axe suo Parrbasis Arctos erat. 
quid faccrem ? blando patriae retinebar amore, 
50 ultima sed iussae nox erat ilia fugae. 

a ! quotiens aliquo dixi properante " quid urgues ? 

vel quo festinas ire, vel unde, vide." 
a ! quotiens certam me sum mentitus habere 

horam, propositae quae foret apta viae. 
55 ter limen tetigi, ter sum revocatus, et ipse 

indulgens animo pes mihi tardus erat. 
saepe " vale " dicto rursus sum multa locutus, 

et quasi discedens oscula summa dedi. 
saepe eadem mandata dedi meque ipse fefelli, 
60 respiciens oculis pignora cara meis. 

1 Lares] aras 2 extinctos] aeternos 

1 i.e. had revolved about the pole-star, which is practicall 
the axis of the constellation, cf. 2. 190; iii. 2. 2. 

TRISTIA, I. in. 33-60 

ye gods of this lofty city of Quirinus, whom 
I must leave, receive from me this my saluta- 
tion for all time ! And although too late I 
take up the shield when wounded, yet disburden 
of hatreds this banishment of mine ; tell to that 
man divine what error beguiled me, that he may not 
think a fault to be a crime and that what you 
know he too, the author of my punishment, may 
feel. If the god be appeased I cannot be 

41 With such prayer as this I appealed to the gods, 
my wife with many more, the sobs interrupting her 
cries half uttered. She even cast herself with 
flowing hair before the Lares, touching the cold 
hearth with quivering lips and pouring forth to the 
Penates before her many words not destined to 
avail the spouse she mourned. 

47 Now night hurrying to her close refused me 
time for lingering, and the Parrhasian bear had 
wheeled about her axis. 1 What was I to do ? The 
enthralling love of country held me, yet that was 
the last night before the exile that had been decreed. 
Alas ! how many times did I say, as somebody 
hastened by, " Why do you hurry me ? Consider 
whither you are hastening or whence ! " Alas ! 
how many times did I falsely say that I had a definite 
hour suited to my intended journey. Thrice I 
touched the threshold, thrice did something call 
me back, and my very feet moved slowly to gratify 
my inclination. Oft when I had said farewell 
once again I uttered many words, and as if I were 
in the act of setting forth I gave the final kisses. 
Oft I gave the same parting directions, thus beguiling 
myself, with backward look at the objects of my 



denique " quid propero ? Scythia est, quo mittimur," 


" Roma relinquenda est. utraque iusta mora est. 
uxor in aeternum vivo mihi viva negatur, 

et domus et fidae dulcia membra domus, 
65 quosque ego dilexi fraterno more sodales, 

o mihi Thesea pectora iuncta fide ! 
dum licet, amplectar : numquam fortasse licebit 
amplius. in lucro est quae datur hora mihi/' 
nee mora, sermonis verba inperfecta relinquo, 
70 complectens animo proxima quaeque meo. 
dum loquor et flemus, caelo nitidissimus alto, 

Stella gravis nobis, Lucifer ortus erat. 
dividor haud aliter, quam si mea membra relinquam, 

et pars abrumpi corpore visa suo est. 
76 sic doluit Mettus 1 tune cum in contraria versos 

ultores habuit proditionis equos. 
turn vero exoritur clamor gemitusque meorum, 

et feriunt maestae pectora nuda manus. 
turn vero coniunx umeris abeuntis inhaerens 
80 miscuit haec lacrimis tristia verba meis : 

" non potes avelli. simul hinc, simul ibimus," inquit, 

" te sequar et coniunx exulis exul ero. 
et mihi facta via est, et me capit ultima tellus : 

accedam profugae sarcina parva rati. 
85 te iubet e patria discedere Caesaris ira, 

me pietas. pietas haec mihi Caesar erit." 
talia temptabat, sicut temptaverat ante, 
vixque dedit victas utilitate manus. 

1 Priamus 

1 She remained in Rome to work for the poet's recall. 

TRISTIA, I. in. 61-88 

love. At last I said, " Why hasten ? Tis Scythia 
whither I am going, 'tis Rome that I must leave. 
Both are good reasons for delay. My wife lives and 
1 live, but she is being denied me forever and my 
home and the sweet inmates of that faithful home, 
and the comrades I have loved with a brother's 
love, O hearts knit to me with Theseus' faith ! 
Whilst I may I will embrace you. Never more 
perhaps shall I have the chance. The hour granted 
me is so much gain." 

69 No longer delaying I left my words unfinished 
and embraced each object dearest to my heart. 
During my talk and our weeping, bright in the 
lofty sky Lucifer had arisen, to me a baneful star. 
I was torn asunder as if I were leaving my limbs 
behind a very half seemed broken from the body 
to which it belonged. Such was the anguish of 
Mettus when the steeds were driven apart, punishing 
his treachery. Then in truth arose the cries and 
laments of my people ; sorrowing hands beat upon 
naked breasts. Then in truth my wife, as she hung 
upon my breast at parting, mingled these sad words 
with my tears, " I cannot suffer you to be torn away. 
Together, together we will go ; I will follow you 
and be an exile's exiled wife. For me too the 
journey has been commanded, for me too there is 
room in the faraway land. My entrance will add 
but a small freight to your exile ship. You are 
commanded to flee your country by Caesar's wrath, 
I by my loyal love. This love shall be for me a 

87 Such was her attempt, as it had been before, 
and with difficulty did she surrender her resolve 
for my profit. 1 I set forth if it was not rather 



egredior, sive illud erat sine funere ferri, 
90 squalidus inmissis hirta per ora comis. 
ilia dolor e amens tenebris narratur obortis 

semianimis media procubuisse dorno, 
utque resurrexit foedatis pulvere turpi 

crinibus et gelida membra levavit humo, 
95 se modo, desertos modo complorasse Penates, 

nomen et erepti saepe vocasse viri, 
nee gemuisse minus, quam si nataeque meumque 1 

vidisset structos corpus habere rogos, 
et voluisse mori, moriendo ponere sensus, 
100 respectuque tamen non periisse mei. 

vivat, et absentem, quoniam sic fata tulerunt, 
vivat ut 2 auxilio sublevet usque suo. 


Tinguitur oceano custos Erymanthidos ursae, 

aequoreasque suo sidere turbat aquas, 
nos tamen Ionium non nostra findimus aequor 

sponte, sed audaces cogimur esse metu. 
5 me miserum ! quantis increscunt aequora ventis, 

erutaque ex imis fervet harena fretis ! 
monte nee inferior prorae puppique recurvae 

insilit et pictos verberat unda deos. 
pinea texta sonant, pulsi 3 stridore rudentes, 
10 ingemit et nostris ipsa carina malis. 
navita confessus gelidum pallore timorem, 

iam sequitur victus, non regit arte ratem. 
utque parum validus non proficientia rector 

cervicis rigidae frena remittit equo, 

1 virique 2 et corr. Salmasius * pulsu Rothmaler 

1 BoOtes. 

2 The figures painted or carved on the stern. 

TRISTIA, I. in. 89 iv. 14 

being carried forth to burial without a funeral 
unkempt, my hair falling over my unshaven cheeks. 
She, frenzied by grief, was overcome, they say, by 
a cloud of darkness, and fell half dead in the midst 
of our home. And when she rose, her tresses fouled 
with unsightly dust, raising her body from the cold 
ground, she lamented now her deserted self, now 
the deserted Penates, and often called the name of 
her ravished husband, groaning as if she had seen 
the bodies of her daughter and myself resting on 
the high-built pyre ; she wished to die, in death 
to lay aside all feeling, yet from regard for me she 
did not die. May she live ! and when I am far 
away since thus the fates have willed so live as 
by her aid to bring constant relief. 


The guardian 1 of the Erymanthian bear dips in 
ocean and with his setting stars makes stormy the 
waters of the sea. Yet I am cleaving the Ionian 
waves not of my own will but forced to boldness 
through fear. Wretched me ! what mighty winds 
swell the waters, casting up the seething sand from 
the lowest depths ! Mountain-high upon prow and 
out-curving stern leaps the billow lashing the painted 
gods. 2 The pine-wrought fabric resounds, and the 
ropes, whipped by the shrieking wind, and the very 
keel groans over my woes. The sailor confessing 
by his pale face a chilling fear now in defeat humours 
the craft, no longer skilfully guiding her. As a 
rider who is not strong enough lets the ineffective 
reins fall loose upon the stubborn neck of his horse, 



15 sic non quo voluit, sed quo rapit impetus undae, 

aurigam video vela dedisse rati. 
quod nisi mutatas emiserit Aeolus auras, 

in loca iam nobis non adeunda ferar. 
nam procul Illyriis laeva de parte relictis 
20 interdicta mihi cernitur Italia. 

desinat in vetitas quaeso contendere terras, 

et mecum magno pareat aura deo. 
dum loquor, et timeo pariter cupioque 1 repelli, 

increpuit quantis viribus unda latus ! 
25 parcite caerulei, vos parcite numina ponti, 

infestumque mihi sit satis esse lovem. 

vos animam saevae fessam subducite morti, 

si modo, qui periit, non periisse potest. 


O mihi post nullos umquam 2 memorande sodales, 

et cui praecipue sors mea visa sua est, 
attonitum qui me, memini, carissime, primus 

ausus es adloquio sustinuisse tuo, 
5 qui mihi consilium vivendi mite dedisti, 

cum foret in misero pectore mortis amor, 
scis bene, cui dicam, positis pro nomine signis, 

officium nee te fallit, amice, tuum. 
haec mihi semper erunt imis infixa medullis, 
10 perpetuusque animae debitor huius ero, 
spiritus et vacuas prius hie tenuandus in auras 

ibit, et in tepido deseret ossa rogo, 

1 timeo cupio nimiumque vel cupio pariter timeoque 
2 ullos numquam 


TRISTIA, I. iv. 15 v. 12 

so not where he wishes but where the billow's power 
carries him our charioteer, I see, has given the ship 
her head. And unless Aeolus changes the winds 
he sends forth, I shall be driven to a region that I 
must not now approach, for Illyria's shores are far 
behind on the left and forbidden Italy is beginning 
to appear. I pray the wind may cease its striving 
towards a forbidden land and may unite with me 
in obedience to the mighty god. 1 Whilst I speak, 
at once afraid and eager to be driven back, 
with what mighty power the waves have set her 
beam to creaking ! Mercy, ye gods of the dark 
sea, mercy! Let it suffice that Jupiter 1 is angered 
against me. Save ye my weary life from cruel death, 
if only 'tis possible for one already dead 2 not to 


You who shall never be named after any of my 
comrades, you who above all made my lot your 
own, who were the first, dearest one, I remember, 
to dare to support me with words of comfort after 
the bolt had struck, who gave me the gentle counsel 
to live when my wretched breast was filled with the 
love of death, you know well to whom I am speak- 
ing by means of these symbols substituted for your 
name, nor are you unaware, my friend, of your own 
service. These things shall ever remain fixed in 
my inmost heart and I will be an everlasting debtor 
for this life of mine, my spirit shall be dispersed 
in the empty air leaving my bones on the warm 

1 Augustus. 
2 Ovid often likens his exile to death. 



quam subeant animo meritorum oblivia nostro, 

et longa pietas excidat ista die. 
15 di tibi sint faciles, tibi di l nullius egentem 

fortunam praesterit dissimilemque meae. 
si tamen haec navis vento ferretur amico, 

ignoraretur forsitan ista fides. 
Thesea Pirithous non tarn sensisset amicum, 
20 si non infernas vivus adisset aquas, 
ut foret exemplum veri Phoceus amoris, 

fecerunt furiae, tristis Oresta, tuae. 
si non Euryalus Rutulos cecidisset in hostes, 

Hyrtacidae Nisi gloria nulla foret. 
25 scilicet ut fulvum spectatur in ignibus aurum, 

tempore sic duro est inspicienda fides. 
dum iuvat et vultu ridet Fortuna sereno, 

indelibatas cuncta sequuntur opes : 
at simul intonuit, fugiunt, nee noscitur ulli, 
30 agminibus comitum qui modo cinctus erat. 
atque haec, exemplis quondam collecta priorurn, 

nunc mihi sunt propriis cognita vera rnalis. 
vix duo tresve mihi de tot superestis amici ; 

cetera Fortunae, non mea turba fuit. 
35 quo magis, o pauci, rebus succurrite laesis, 

et date naufragio litora tuta meo, 
neve metu falso nimium trepidate, timentes, 

hac offendatur ne pietate deus ! 
saepe fidem adversis etiam laudavit in armis, 
40 inque suis amat hanc Caesar, in hoste probat. 
causa mea est melior, qui non contraria fovi 

arma, sed hanc merui simplicitate fugam. 

1 et opis vel sisui : tibi di Ehwald 

1 Pyladea. 
2 On the causes of Ovid's exile see Introd. pp. xviii if. 


TRISTIA, I. v. 13-42 

pyre ere forgetfulness of your deserving steals into 
my heart and that loyalty of yours falls away from 
it through length of time. May the gods be gracious 
to you ; to you may the gods grant a lot that craves 
the aid of no one, a lot unlike mine. 

17 And yet if this bark of mine were being borne 
on by a friendly breeze, perchance that loyalty 
of yours would be unknown. Theseus' friendship 
would not have been so keenly felt by Pirithous if 
he had not gone while still alive to the waters below. 
That the Phocean 1 was a model of sincere love 
was due to thy madness, gloomy Orestes. If 
Euryalus had not fallen in with the Rutulian foe, 
Hyrtacian Nisus would have had no renown. 'Tis 
clear that as tawny gold is tested in the flames so 
loyalty must be proved in times of stress. While 
Fortune aids us and a smile is upon her calm face, 
all things follow our unimpaired resources. But at 
the first rumble of the thunder they flee, and nobody 
recognizes him who but now was encircled with troops 
of comrades. This, which once I inferred from the 
examples of former men, now I know to be true 
from my own woes. Scarce two or three of you, 
my friends, once so many, remain to me ; the rest 
were Fortune's following, not mine. And so, few 
though ye are, run all the more to aid my injured 
state and provide a secure shore for my shipwreck. 
Tremble not over much with false fear lest this 
loyalty give offence to our god. Ofttimes faith 
even among his enemies in arms has been praised 
by Caesar ; when it exists among his own, he loves 
it ; in an enemy he approves it. My case is still 
more favourable since I did not nurse strife against 
him, but earned this exile by my simplicity. 2 Do you, 



invigiles igitur nostris pro casibus, oro, 

deminui siqua * numinis ira potest. 
45 scire meos casus siquis desiderat omnes, 

plus, quam quod fieri res sinit, ille petit, 
tot mala sum passus, quot in aethere sidera lucent 

parvaque quot siccus corpora pulvis habet ; 
multaque credibili tulimus maiora ratamque, 
60 quam vis acciderint, non habitura fidem. 
pars etiam quaedam mecum moriatur oportet, 

meque velim possit dissimulante tegi. 
si vox infragilis, pectus mihi firmius aere, 2 

pluraque cum linguis pluribus ora forent, 
65 non tamen idcirco complecterer omnia verbis, 

materia vires exsuperante meas. 
pro duce Neritio docti mala nostra poetae 

scribite : Neritio nam mala plura tuli. 
ille brevi spatio multis erravit in annis 
60 inter Dulichias Iliacasque domos : 
nos freta sideribus totis distantia mensos 

sors tulit 3 in Geticos Sarmaticosque sinus, 
ille habuit fidamque manum sociosque fideles : 

me profugum comites deseruere mei. 
65 ille suam laetus patriam victorque petebat : 

a patria fugi victus et exul ego. 
nee mihi Dulichium domus est Ithaceve Samosve, 

poena quibus non est grandis abesse locis, 
sed quae de septem totum circumspicit orbem 
70 montibus, imperii Roma deumque locus, 
illi corpus erat durum patiensque laborum : 

invalidae vires ingenuaeque mihi. 
ille erat assidue saevis agitatus in armis : 

adsuetus studiis mollibus ipse fui. 

1 q nunc L 2 heret vel esset corr. 5" 

8 sors tulit r : detulit 

TRISTIA, I. v. 43-74 

then, watch on behalf of my fortunes, I beg of you, if 
in any way the wrath of the deity can be lessened. 

45 If anyone desires to know all my fortunes he 
seeks more than the circumstances permit. I have 
endured woes as many as the stars that shine in 
heaven, or the grains that the dry dust holds ; many 
have I borne too great to be believed and not 
destined to find credence, although they have 
really befallen me. A part, too, might well perish 
with me, and I wish that, since I would veil them, 
they might be hidden. If I had a tireless voice, 
lungs stronger than brass, and many mouths with 
many tongues, not even so could I embrace them 
all in words, for the theme surpasses my strength. 
Ye learned poets, write of my evils instead of the 
Neritian hero's l ! for I have borne more than the 
Neritian. He wandered over but a narrow space in 
many years between the homes of Dulichium and 
Ilium ; I, after traversing seas whole constellations 
apart, have been carried by fate to the bays of the 
Getae and Sarmatians. He had a faithful band of true 
companions ; I in my flight have been abandoned 
by my comrades. He was seeking his native land 
in joy and victory ; I have fled mine, vanquished 
and an exile. My home is not Dulichium or Ithaca 
or Samos, 2 places from which absence is no great 
punishment, but Rome, that gazes about from her 
seven hills upon the whole world, Rome, the place 
of empire and the gods. He had a frame sturdy 
and enduring of toil ; I have but the frail strength 
of one gently nurtured. He had been constantly 
engaged in fierce warfare ; I have been used to 

1 Odysseus, so-called from Mount Neritus in Ithaca. 
2 i.e. Same, an isle belonging to Odysseus. 

D 33 


76 me deus oppressit, nullo mala nostra levante : 

bellatrix illi diva ferebat opem. 
cumque minor love sit tumidis qui regnat in undis, 

ilium Neptuni, me lovis ira premit. 
adde, quod illius pars maxima ficta labor um, 
80 ponitur in nostris fabula nulla malis. 

denique quaesitos tetigit tamen ille Penates, 

quaeque diu petiit, contigit arva tamen : 
at mihi perpetuo patria tellure carendum est, 

ni fuerit laesi mollior ira dei. 


Nee tantum Clario est Lyde dilecta poetae, 

nee tantum Coo l Bittis 2 amata suo est, 
pectoribus quantum tu nostris, uxor, inhaeres, 

digna minus misero, non meliore viro. 
5 te mea supposita veluti trabe fulta ruina est : 

siquid adhuc ego sum, muneris omne tui est. 
tu facis, ut spolium non sim, nee nuder ab illis, 

naufragii tabulas qui petiere mei. 
utque rapax stimulante fame cupidusque cruoris 
10 incustoditum oaptat ovile lupus, 

aut ut edax vultur corpus circumspicit ecquod 

sub nulla positum cernere possit humo, 
sic mea nescio quis, rebus male fid us acerbis 

in bona venturus, si paterere, fuit. 
15 hunc tua per fortis virtus summovit amicos, 

nulla quibus reddi gratia digna pot est. 
ergo quam misero, tarn vero teste probaris, 
hie ali quod pondus si modo testis habet. 
1 Coo] Clario 2 battis corr. Mfrkel 

1 Pallas Athene (Minerva). 

TRISTIA, I. v. 75 vi. 18 

softer pursuits, I was crushed by a god and nobody 
lightened my sorrows ; to him the goddess l of war 
brought aid. And though the king of the swelling 
waves is inferior to Jove, he was oppressed by 
Neptune's wrath, I by that of Jove. Moreover, the 
largest part of his labours is fiction ; in my woes no 
myth resides. And finally he reached the home 
of his quest, attaining the fields he long had sought. 
But I must be forever deprived of my native land, 
unless the wrath of the injured god be softened. 

VI. To His WIFE 

Not so great was the love of the Clarian bard 2 
for Lyde or that of her own Coan 3 for Bittis as the 
love that clings in my heart for thee, rny wife, 
for thee wl)o art worthy of a less wretched, not a 
better, husband. Upon thee as upon a supporting 
pillar my ruins rest ; if even now anything of me 
exists, it is all thy gift. Tis thy doing that I am 
not plundered nor stripped bare by those who have 
attacked the timbers of my wreckage. As the wolf 
ravening under the goad of hunger and eager for 
blood strives to catch the sheepfold unguarded, or 
as the hungry vulture peers about for the possible 
sight of some unburied corpse, so there was one, 
treacherous in my bitter fortune, who, hadst thou 
suffered it, would have come into my wealth. Him 
thy courage has repelled with the aid of spirited 
friends whom I can never thank as they deserve. 
Thus thou art approved by a witness as sincere as 
he is wretched, if only such a witness carries any 
2 Antimachus. 8 Philetas. 



nee probitate tua prior est aut Hectoris uxor, 
20 aut comes extincto Laodamia viro. 
tu si Maeonium vatem sortita fuisses, 
Penelopes esset fa ma secunda tuae : 
sive tibi hoc debes, nullo 1 pia facta magistro, 

cumque nova mores sunt tibi luce dati, 
25 femina seu princeps omnes tibi culta per annos 

te docet exemplum coniugis esse bonae, 
adsimilemque sui longa adsuetudine fecit, 

grandia si parvis adsimulare licet, 
ei mihi, non magnas quod habent mea carmina vires, 
30 nostraque sunt meritis ora minor a tuis ! 
siquid et in nobis vivi fuit ante vigoris, 

extinctum longis occidit omne malis ! 
prima locum sanctas heroidas inter haberes, 

prima bonis animi conspicerere tui. 
35 quantumcumque tamen praeconia nostra valebunt, 
carminibus vives tempus in omne meis. 


Siquis habes nostris similes in imagine vultus, 
deme meis hederas, Bacchica serta, comis. 

ista decent laetos felicia signa poetas : 

temporibus non est apta corona meis. 

5 hoc tibi dissimula, senti tamen, optime, dici, 

in digito qui me fersque refersque tuo, 

1 null! 

1 Andromache. 

2 Livia, wife of Augustus, is here called princeps femina, 
as her husband was called princeps (civitatis). 

8 Possibly Brutus. See Introa. p. xv. 

4 The first four lines are a general injunction to all who 


TRISTIA, L vi. 19 vn. 6 

weight. In uprightness neither Hector's wife 1 
excels thee, nor Laodamia, companion of her husband 
in death. If fate had allotted thee the Maeonian 
bard, Penelope's fame would be second to thine, 
whether thou owest this to thyself, schooled to 
loyalty by no teacher, and such character was given 
thee with life's earliest dawn, or whether that first 
of women, 2 reverenced by thee through all the years, 
teaches thee to be the model of a good wife and 
by long training has made thee like herself if 'tis 
lawful to liken great things to small. Alas that great 
power lies not in my song and my lips cannot match 
thy merits ! if ever in former times I had aught of 
quickening vigour, all has been extinguished by my 
long sorrows ! else thou wouldst hold first place amid 
the revered heroines, first wouldst thou be looked 
upon because of thy qualities of heart. Yet so far 
as my praise has power, thou shalt live for all time 
in my song. 


Whoever you 3 may be who possess a portrait of 
my features, remove from my locks the ivy, the 
chaplet of Bacchus. Such fortunate symbols are 
suited to happy poets ; a wreath becomes not my 
temples. 4 Hide the fact yet feel it, too, that 
this is said to you, my best of friends, who carry 
me about on your finger, and, clasping my image 

possessed likenesses of the poet such as, for example, 
crowned busts (imagines) which were a common ornament 
of libraries. Vv. 5 ff. are addressed directly to the recipient 
of this letter. 



effigiemque meam fulvo complexus in auro 

cara relegati, quae potes, ora vides. 
quae quotiens spectas, subeat tibi dicere forsan 
10 " quam procul a nobis Naso sodalis abest ! " 
grata tua est pietas. sed carmina maior imago 

sunt mea, quae mando qualiacumque legas, 
carmina mutatas hominum dicentia formas, 

infelix domini quod fuga rupit opus. 
15 haec ego discedens, sicut bene multa meorum, 

ipse mea posui maestus in igne manu. 
utque cremasse suum fertur sub stipite natum 

Thestias et melior matre fuisse soror, 
sic ego non meritos mecum peritura libellos 
20 imposui rapidis viscera nostra rogis : 

vel quod eram Musas, ut crimina nostra, perosus, 

vel quod adhuc crescens et rude carmen erat. 
quae quoniam non sunt penitus sublata, sed extant- 

pluribus exemplis scripta fuisse reor 
25 nunc precor ut vivant et non ignava legentem 

otia delectent admoneantque mei. 
nee tamen ilia legi poterunt patienter ab ullo, 

nesciet his summam siquis abesse manum. 
ablatum mediis opus est incudibus illud, 
30 defuit et scriptis ultima lima meis. 

et veniam pro laude peto, laudatus abunde, 

non fastiditus si tibi, lector, ero. 
hos quoque sex versus, in prima l fronte libelli 

si praeponendos esse putabis, habe : 
35 " orba parente suo quicumque volumina tangis, 
his saltern vestra detur in urbe locus. 
1 prima] primi Heinsius 

1 The Metamorphoses. 2 Althaea. See Index. 

8 i.e. Rome, where you can still live. 


TRISTIA, I. vii. 7-36 

on the tawny gold, see the dear face all that you 
can see of an exile. Whenever you gaze upon 
it, you may perchance feel prompted to say, " How 
far away is our comrade Naso ! " There is comfort 
in your love. But my verses are a more striking 
portrait, and these I bid you read however poor 
they are the verses that tell of the changed forms 
of men, 1 the work broken off by the unfortunate 
exile of their master. 

15 These verses upon my departure, like so much 
that was mine, in sorrow I placed with my own 
hand in the fire. Just as Thestius' daughter 2 
burned her own son, they say, in burning the branch, 
and proved a better sister than mother, so 1 placed 
the innocent books consigned with me to death, my 
very vitals, upon the devouring pyre, because I 
had come to hate the Muses as my accusers or 
because the poem itself was as yet half grown and 
rough. These verses were not utterly destroyed ; 
they still exist several copies were made, I think 
and now I pray that they may live, that thus my 
industrious leisure may bring pleasure to the reader 
and remind him of me. And yet they cannot be 
read in patience by anybody who does not know 
that they lack the final hand. That work was 
taken from me while it was on the anvil and my 
writing lacked the last touch of the file. Indulgence, 
then, instead of praise I ask ; I shall have abundance 
of praise if you do not disdain me, reader. Receive 
these six lines also, if you think them worthy to be 
placed at the very head of the book : 

35 " All you who touch these rolls bereft of their 
father, to them at least let a place be granted in 
your 3 city ! And your indulgence will be all the 



quoque magis faveas, haec non sunt edita ab ipso, 

sed quasi de doinini funere rapta sui. 
quicquid in his igitur vitii rude carmen habebit, 
40 emendaturus, si licuisset, eram." 


In caput alta suum labentur ab aequore retro 

flumina, conversis Solque recurret equis : 
terra feret Stellas, caelum findetur aratro, 

unda dabit flammas, et dabit ignis aquas, 
5 omnia naturae praepostera legibus ibunt, 

parsque suum mundi nulla tenebit iter, 
omnia iam fient, fieri quae posse negabam, 1 

et nihil est, de quo non sit habenda fides, 
haec ego vaticinor, quia sum deceptus ab illo, 
10 laturum misero quern mihi rebar opem. 
tantane te, fallax, cepere oblivia nostri, 

afflictumque fuit tantus adire timor, 
ut neque respiceres nee solarere iacentem, 

dure, nee exequias prosequerere meas ? 
16 illud amicitiae sanctum et venerabile nomen 

re tibi pro vili sub pedibusque iacet ? 
quid fuit, ingenti prostratum mole sodalem 

visere et adloquiis 2 parte levare ttiis, 
inque meos si non lacrimam demittere casus, 
20 pauca tamen ficto verba dolore pati, 3 

idque, quod ignoti faciunt, vel dicere 4 saltern, 

et vocem populi publicaque ora sequi, 
denique lugubres vultus numquamque videndos 

cernere supremo dum licuitque die, 

1 negabat (negabant s~) vel negabit 
2 alloquii . . . sui (tui) corr. Ekwald 
8 loqui * vale dicere corr. Merkel 


TRISTIA, I. vii. 37 vin. 24 

greater because these were not published by their 
master, but were rescued from what might be 
called his funeral. And so whatever defect this 
rough poem may have I would have corrected, had 
it been permitted me." 


To their sources shall deep rivers flow, back 
from the sea, and the sun, wheeling his steeds, 
shall hurry backwards ; the earth shall support stars 
and the sky shall be cloven by the plough, water 
shall produce flame and flame water ; all things 
shall proceed reversing nature's laws and no part 
of the universe shall keep its path ; everything 
that I once called impossible shall now take place, 
and there is nothing that one ought not to believe. 
All this I prophesy because I have been deceived 
by that man who I thought would bring aid to me 
in my wretchedness. 

11 Treacherous one, did you forget me so utterly 
or were you so afraid to approach me in my mis- 
fortune that you did not regard or comfort me in my 
downfall, cruel man, or become one of my funeral 
escort ? Does the sacred and revered name of 
friendship lie, a cheap thing, beneath your feet ? 
What trouble was it to visit a comrade overwhelmed 
by a mighty disaster, to do your part in relieving 
him with words of comfort, and if not to let fall a 
tear at my misfortune, yei to suffer a few words of 
feigned sorrow to escape you and, as even strangers 
do, at least to say something, to copy the people's 
speech, the public phrases in fine to look upon 
my sad features never to be seen again, on the last 


25 dicendumque semel toto non amplius aevo 
accipere, et parili reddere voce " vale " ? 
at fecere alii nullo mihi feeder e iuncti, 

et lacrimas animi signa dedere sui. 
quid, nisi convictu causisque valentibus essem 
30 temporis et longi iunctus amore tibi ? 
quid, nisi tot lusus et tot mea seria nosses, 

tot nossem lusus seriaque ipse tua ? 
quid, si dumtaxat Romae mihi cognitus esses, 

ascitus totiens in genus omne loci ? 
35 cunctane in aequoreos abierunt irrita ventos ? 

cunctane Lethaeis mersa feruntur aquis ? 
non ego te genitum placida reor urbe Quirini, 
, urbe meo quae iam non adeunda pede est, 1 
sed scopulis, Ponti quos haec habet or a sinistri, 
40 inque feris Scythiae Sarmaticisque iugis : 
et tua sunt silicis circum praecordia venae, 

et rigidum ferri semina pectus habet, 
quaeque tibi quondam tenero ducenda palato 

plena dedit nutrix ubera, tigris erat : 
45 aut mala nostra minus quam nunc aliena putares, 

duritiaeque mihi non agerere reus. 
sed quoniam accedit fatalibus hoc quoque damnis, 

ut careant numeris tempora prima suis, 

effice, peccati ne sim memor huius, et illo 

50 officium laudem, quo queror, ore tuum. 


Detur inoffenso vitae tibi fcangere metam, 
qui legislioc nobis non inimicus opus. 
1 pede est] mihi 

1 The conjecture that this friend was Carus is improbable. 
See Introd. p. xv. 

TRISTIA, I. vm. 25 ix. 2 

Lay, whilst you might, and to hear the " Farewell " 
lever more to be uttered in all time and to return it 
;o me in a like tone ? Others did this who were 
xrnnd to me by no tie, and wept in token of their 
eeling. What if in our common life there were 
lot strong reasons for our union, and in our long 
continued love ? What if you had not known so 
many of my gay and serious moments, and I so 
many of yours ? What if you had known me merely 
at Rome you who have so often been my comrade 
in all sorts of places ? Have all these things been in 
vain, vanishing into the winds that blow over the 
sea ? Are they all carried away, drowned in Lethe's 
waters ? You were not born, I think, in Quirmus* 
peaceful city, the city that my feet must enter 
nevermore, but of the crags which stand upon this 
coast of the ill-omened Pontus, or in the cruel 
mountains of Scythia and Sarmatia. Your heart 
also is girt with veins of flint, and seeds of iron are 
implanted in your unyielding breast. She who once 
nursed you, offering full udders to be drained by your 
tender throat, was a tigress ; or else you would think 
my woes less foreign to you than you now do, nor 
would you stand accused by me of hardheartedness. 
47 But since this also has been added to my fated 
ills, that those early years fall short of consummation, 
see to it that I forget this sin and praise your service 
with the same lips with which I now complain. 


Be it your lot to reach life's goal without stumbling 
you who read this work of mine in no unfriendly 



atque utinam pro te possent mea vota valere, 

quae pro me duros non tetigere deos ! 
5 donee eris sospes, 1 multos numerabis amicos : 

tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris. 
aspicis, ut veniant ad Candida tecta columbae, 

accipiat nullas sordida turris aves. 
horrea formicae tendunt ad inania numquam : 
10 nullus ad amissas ibit amicus opes. 

utque comes radios per solis euntibus umbra est, 

cum latet hie pressus nubibus, ilia fugit, 
mobile sic sequitur Fortunae lumina vulgus : 

quae simul inducta nocte teguntur, abit. 
16 haec precor ut semper possint tibi falsa videri ; 

sunt tamen eventu vera fatenda meo. 
dum stetimus, turbae quantum satis esset, habebat 

nota quidem, sed non ambitiosa domus. 
at simul impulsa est, omnes timuere ruinam, 
20 cautaque communi terga dedere fugae. 

saeva neque admiror metuunt si fulmina, quorum 

ignibus adflari proxima quaeque solent. 
sed tamen in duris remanentem rebus amicum 

quamlibet 2 inviso Caesar in hoste probat, 
25 nee solet irasci neque enim moderatior alter 

cum quis in adversis, siquid amavit, amat. 
de comite Argolici 3 postquarp cognovit Orestis, 

narratur Py laden ipse probasse Thoas. 
quae fuit Actoridae cum magno semper Achille, 
30 laudari solita est Hectoris ore fides. 

quod pius ad Manes Theseus comes iret amico, 

Tartareum dicunt indoluisse deum. 

1 felix 2 qualibet vel quolibet corr. 5" 

* argolico corr. Heinsius 


TRISTIA, I. ix. 3-32 

spirit. Would that in your behalf my prayers may 
prevail which in my own did not affect the cruel gods ! 
So long as you are secure you will count many 
friends ; if your life becomes clouded you will be 
alone. You see how the doves come to a white 
dwelling, how an unclean tower harbours no birds. 
Ants seek a granary, but an empty one never : no 
friend will approach when wealth is lost. As a 
shadow accompanies those who pass through the 
rays of the sun, but when the sun is hidden, hemmed 
in by clouds, the shadow vanishes, so the fickle 
crowd follows the light of good fortune, but, when 
once the veil of darkness covers it, the crowd is 
gone. I pray this may always seem untrue to you, 
yet from my fate its truth must be admitted. 
Whilst I stood upright, my house, well known 
indeed but courting no honours, found enough to 
throng it. Yet, as soon as the shock came all men 
feared its fall and discreetly turned their backs in 
common flight. I wonder not if they dread the 
fierce lightnings whose flames are wont to blast 
everything nearby ; nevertheless a friend who is 
steadfast in times of stress is approved by Caesar 
in the case of an enemy, however he may hate him, 
and he is not wont to be angry for no other shows 
greater restraint when one continues in adversity 
to love whatever he has loved before. After hearing 
the tale of Argive Orestes' comrade, even Thoas, 
they say, approved of Pylades. The unwavering 
loyalty of Actor 's grandson 1 for mighty Achilles 
was wont to be praised by Hector's lips. When 
loyal Theseus accompanied his friend to the shades, 
they say the god 2 of Tartarus was grieved. When 

1 Patroclus. 2 Pluto. 



Euryali Nisique fide tibi, Turne, relata 

credibile est lacrimis inmaduisse genas 
35 est etiam miseris pietas, et in hoste probatur. 

ei mihi, quam paucos haec mea dicta mo vent ! 
is status, haec rerum nunc est fortuna mearum, 

debeat ut lacrimis nullus adesse modus, 
at mea sunt, proprio quamvis maestissima casu, 
40 pectora processu fa eta serena tuo. 
hoc eventurum iam turn, carissirne, vidi, 

ferret adhuc istam l cum minus aura ratem. 
sive aliquod morum seu vitae labe carentis 
est pretium, nemo pluris emendus erat : 
45 sive per ingenuas aliquis caput extulit artes 

quaelibet eloquio fit bona causa tuo. 
his ego commotus dixi tibi protinus ipsi 

" scaena manet dotes grandis, amice, tuas/ 5 
haec mihi non ovium fibrae tonitrusve sinistri, 
50 linguave servatae pennave dixit avis : 
augurium ratio est et coniectura futuri : 

hac divinavi notitiamque tuli. 
quae quoniam vera est, tota tibi mente mihique 

gratulor, ingenium non latuisse tuum. 
55 at nostrum tenebris utinam latuisset in imis ! 

expediit studio lumen abesse meo. 
utque tibi prosunt artes, facunde, severae, 

dissimiles illis sic nocuere mihi. 
vita tamen tibi nota mea est. scis artibus illis 
60 auctoris mores abstinuisse sui : 

scis vetus hoc iuveni lusum mihi carmen, et istos 
ut non laudandos, sic tamen esse iocos. 

1 ista 

1 The Ars amalorla. 

TRISTIA, I. ix. 33-62 

they told you, Turnus, of the fidelity of Nisus and 
Euryalus, we may believe that your cheeks were 
moist with tears. There is loyalty even for the 
unfortunate and it finds approval even in an enemy. 
Ah me ! how few do these words of mine affect ! 
Such is my condition, such is now the state of my 
affairs that there should be no measure to my tears. 
Yet my heart, in the depths of grief from its own 
disaster, has been calmed by your advancement. 
This I saw approaching, dear one, as early as the 
time when the breeze was as yet bearing onward 
that bark of yours less swiftly. If there is a reward 
for character or for a life without blemish, nobody 
was more highly to be prized ; or if anyone lias by 
liberal arts achieved prominence, you have eloquence 
which renders every cause a good one. Moved by 
this I said at once to you, " A mighty stage awaits 
thy gifts." This was told me by no sheep's liver 
or thunder on my left or the note or wing of a bird 
I had observed ; it is an augury and inference of 
the future based on reason : by this I made my 
divination and gained my knowledge. 

63 Since this proves true, with my whole heart I 
congratulate you and myself that your ability has 
not been obscured. But mine ! would it had been 
obscured in the depths of darkness ! It had been 
best that light had failed my pursuit. And just 
as you are aided, my eloquent friend, by serious 
arts, so arts unlike them have injured me. Yet 
my life is well known to you ; you know that 
with those arts their author's character had no con- 
nexion ; you know that this poem l was written long 
ago, an amusement of my youth, and that those 
jests, though not deserving praise, were still mere 



ergo ut defend! nullo mea posse colore, 

sic excusari crimina posse puto. 
65 qua potes, excusa, nee amici desere causam : 
qua bene coepisti, sic bene semper eas. 


Est mihi sitque, precor, flavae tutela Minervae, 

navis et a picta casside nomen habet. 
sive opus est velis, minimam bene currit ad auram, 

sive opus est remo, remige carpit iter. 
5 nee comites volucri contenta est vincere cursu, 

occupat egressas quamlibet ante 1 rates, 
et pariter fluctus fert ac salientia 2 longe 

aequora, nee saevis victa madescit aquis. 
ilia, Corinthiacis primum mihi cognita Cenchreis, 
10 fida manet trepidae duxque comesque fugae, 
perque tot eventus et iniquis concita ventis 

aequora Palladio numine tuta fuit. 
nunc quoque tuta, precor, vasti secet ostia Ponti, 

quasque petit, Getici litoris intret aquas. 
15 quae simul Aeoliae mare me deduxit in Helles, 

et longum tenui Hmite fecit iter, 
fleximus in laevum cursus, et ab Hectoris urbe 

venimus ad portus, Imbria terra, tuos. 

1 qualibet arte corr. <T 
2 ferit (fert) atque silentia vel assilientia corr. Vogel 

1 The stern of Ovid's ship was apparently adorned with a 
figure of Minerva clad in armour. Such a figure was called 
a tutela, ** protecting emblem." 

2 Ovid reached Corinth by way of the Adriatic and the 
Corinthian Gulf. He crossed the Isthmus and boarded 
this ship at Cenchreae whence he continued his voyage to 
Samothrace. There he left the ship (which continued to 


TRISTIA, I. ix. 63 x. 18 

jests. So then although my crimes can be de- 
fended by no plea however brilliant, yet an excuse 
can be made for them, I think. As far as you can, 
make that excuse ; do not abandon the cause of a 
friend. On this condition may you ever travel 
happily along the road upon which you have happily 
set out. 


I have, and pray that I may always have, the 
protection of golden-haired Minerva, and my bark 
draws her name from an emblazoned 1 helmet. If 
sails be needed, she runs well at the touch of the 
lightest breeze, or if oars, the rowers speed her on 
her way. She is not content to outstrip in winged 
course her companions : she overhauls the craft 
that set out no matter how long before ; alike she 
bears the currents and the far-leaping billows ; she 
is no leaky craft overwhelmed by the raging seas. 
Her I knew first at Corinthian Cenchreae 2 and she 
remained the faithful guide and comrade of my 
anxious flight, safe through the power of Pallas 
amid so many fortunes, amid waves roused by the 
cruel gales. Now too I pray she may safely cut 
her path through the gates of the wide Pontus and 
reach the waters of her goal by the Getic shore. 

16 As soon as she brought me to the sea of Aeolian 
Helle, 3 cleaving her long journey with slender 
furrow, I turned my course to the left, away from 
Hector's city, and came to thy port, land of Imbros, 

Tomis, w. 24-42) and took another for Tempvra, near the 
Thracian coast, whence he passed by land to 1 omis. 
8 The Hellespont. 

E 49 


inde, levi vento Zerynthia litora nacta, 
20 Threlciam tetigit fessa carina Samon. 

saltus ab hac contra brevis est Tempyra petenti : 

hac dominum tenus est ilia secuta suum. 
nam mihi Bistonios placuit pede carpere campos : 

Hellespontiacas ilia relegit l aquas 
25 Dardaniamque petit, auctoris nomen habentem, 

et te ruricola, Lampsace, tut a deo, 
quodque per angustas vectae male virginis undas 

Seston Abydena separat urbe fretum, 
inque Propontiacis haerentem Cyzicon oris, 
30 Cyzicon, Haemoniae nobile gentis opus, 
quaeque tenent Ponti Byzantia litora fauces : 

hie locus est gemini ianua vasta maris. 
haec, precor, evincat, propulsaque fortibus Austris 

transeat instabilis strenua Cyaneas 
35 Thyniacosque sinus, et ab his per Apollinis urbem 

arta 2 sub Anchiali moenia tendat iter. 
inde Mesembriacos portus et Odeson et arces 

praetereat dictas nomine, Bacche, tuo, 
et quos Alcathoi memorant e moenibus ortos 
40 sedibus his profugos constituisse Larem. 
a quibus adveniat Miletida sospes ad urbem, 

offensi quo me detulit ira dei. 
haec si contigerint, meritae cadet agna Minervae : 
non facit ad nostras hostia maior opes. 

1 reliquit : relegit S~ 
2 apta vel alta vel vecta : arta 5" 

1 Samothrace, on the north side of which was the Zeryn- 
thian cave of Hecate. 2 Priapus. 3 Helle. 

4 Founded by the Argonaut Aeneus, from Haemonia 

6 The famous Symplegades, at the entrance to the Pontus, 
rocks which clashed together upon ships which ventured 
between them ; see v. 4t and Index. 

TRIST1A, I. x. 

whence reaching the Zerynthian shore with a light 
breeze my wearied keel touched the Thracian 
Samos. 1 From here 'tis but a short leap for one 
who seeks Tempyra on the opposite coast : thus 
far only did my bark attend her master. For it 
was my resolve to pick my way on foot through the 
Bistonian land ; she coasted back through the 
waters of the Hellespont seeking Dardania, bearing 
the name of its founder, and thee, Lampsacus, 
secure through the protection of the country-loving 
god, 2 and the strait of that maiden 3 all too insecurely 
carried through the narrow waters the strait that 
separates Sestos from Abydos' town and Cyzicos 
clinging to the shores of Propontis, Cyzicos, the 
famed work of the Haemonian race, 4 and Byzantium's 
shores, that hold the entrance to the Pontus, the 
huge doorway of twin seas. Through all these may 
she win her way, and driven by the sturdy breeze may 
she have power to pass the shifting Cyaneae, 5 and 
the Thynian bay, and after may she hold her course 
past Apollo's city 6 and close beneath the narrow 
walls of Anchialus. Thence may she pass the port of 
Mesembria and Odesos, and the citadel 7 called after 
thy name, Bacchus, and those exiles from Alcathous' 
walls, who, so 'tis said, placed on this site their 
home. From their land may she come in safety 
to the Milesian city 8 whither the wrath of an angered 
god has dispatched me. 

43 If this but happen, a lamb shall fall in sacrifice 
to deserving Minerva ; a larger victim ill becomes 

6 Apollonia, on the west coast of the Pontus, where lay 
also the other towns mentioned in vv. 35-40. 

7 Probably Dionysopolis. The town of Alcathous was 

8 Tomis, a colony of Miletus, cf. TV. iii. 9. 



45 vos quoque, Tyndaridae, quos haec colit insula, fratres, 

mite precor duplici numen adesse l viae ! 
altera namque parat Symplegadas ire per artas, 

scindere Bistonias altera puppis aquas, 
vos facite ut ventos, loca cum di versa petamus, 
50 ilia suos habeat, nee minus ilia suos. 


Littera quaecumque est toto tibi lecta libello, 

est mini sollicito tempore facta viae. 
aut haec me, gelido tremerem cum mense Decembri, 

scribentem mediis Hadria vidit aquis ; 
5 aut, postquam bimarem cursu superavimus Isthmon, 

alteraque est nostrae sumpta carina fugae, 
quod facerem versus inter fera murmura ponti, 

Cycladas Aegaeas obstipuisse puto. 
ipse ego nunc 2 miror tantis animique marisque 
10 fluctibus ingenium non cecidisse meum. 
seu stupor huic studio sive est insania nomen, 

omnis ab hac cura cura levata 3 mea est. 
saepe ego nimbosis dubius iactabar ab Haedis, 

saepe minax Steropes sidere pontus erat, 
15 fuscabatque diem custos Atlantidos Ursae, 

aut Hyadas seris hauserat Auster aquis, 
saepe maris pars intus erat ; tamen ipse trementi 

carmina ducebam qualiacumque manu. 

1 adeste 2 ego nunc] etenim 

8 cura levata] mens relevata 

1 Castor and Pollux, worshipped by sailors. Ovid writes 
in Samothrace. 

2 Ovid means that he wrote mechanically as one dazed 
(stupor). 8 Bootes. 

4 Ovid seems to mean that rainy Auster combined with the 


TRISTIA, I. x. 45 XL 18 

my poor resources. Ye too, brother Tyndaridae, 1 
whom this isle worships, attend in propitious power 
our twofold way ; for one craft makes ready to 
pass through the narrow Symplegadae, the other 
to plough Bistonia's waters. Make ye the winds, 
though different the places we seek, favour the one 
and no less favour the other ! 


Every letter that you have read in my whole 
book was formed by me during the troubled days 
of my journey. Either the Adriatic saw me writing 
these words in the midst of his waters, while I 
shivered in cold December, or when I had passed 
in my course the Isthmus with its two seas and had 
taken the second ship of my journey into exile, my 
writing of verses amid the wild roar of the sea 
brought wonder, I think, to the Aegean Cyclades. 
I myself now marvel that amid such turmoil of my 
soul and of the sea my powers did not fail. But 
whether " trance " 2 or " madness " be the name for 
this pursuit, 'twas by such pains that all my pain 
was lightened. Often my perilous tossing was 
caused by the storm-bringing Kids, often the con- 
stellation of Sterope made the sea to threaten, or 
the day was darkened by the guardian 3 of the 
Atlantian bear, or Auster had drawn from the 
Hyades an autumnal flood. 4 Often part of the sea 
was within our ship ; nevertheless, with shaking hand 
I continued to spin my verses such as they were. 

setting Hyades (in November, a time of rain) to produce a 
down pour. 



nunc quoque content! stridunt Aquilone rudentes, 
20 inque modum tumuli concava surgit aqua, 
ipse gubernator tollens ad sidera palmas 

exposcit votis, inmemor artis, opem. 
quocumque aspexi, nihil est nisi mortis imago, 

quanx dubia timeo mente timensque precor. 
25 attigero portum, portu terrebor ab ipso : 

plus habet infesta terra timoris aqua, 
nam simul insidiis hominum pelagique laboro, 

et faciunt geminos ensis et unda metus. 
ille meo vereor ne speret sanguine praedam, 
30 haec titulum nostrae mortis habere velit. 

barbara pars laeva est avidaeque adsueta rapinae, 1 

quam cruor et caedes bellaque semper habent, 
cumque sit hibernis agitatum fluctibus aequor, 

pectora sunt ipso turbidiora mari. 
35 quo magis his debes ignoscere, candide lector, 

si spe sunt, ut sunt, inferiora tua. 
non haec in nostris, ut quondam, scripsimus 2 hortis, 

nee, consuete, meum, lectule, corpus habes. 
iactor in indomito brumali luce profundo 
40 ipsaque caeruleis charta feritur aquis. 

improba pugnat hiems indignaturque quod ausim 

scribere se rigidas incutiente minas. 
vincat hiems hominem ! sed eodem tempore, quaeso, 

ipse modum statuam carminis, ilia sui. 

1 ad ethera penne vel substrata (substracta vel subtracta 
etc.) rapinae : adsueta rapinae Haupt 

2 scribimus 


TRISTIA, I. xi. 19-44 

Now too the ropes drawn taut by Aquilo are 
shrieking, and like a hill swells the curving surge. 
The very helmsman lifts his hands to the stars 
imploring aid with prayer and forgetful of his skill. 
Wherever I gaze there is naught but the presentment 
of death that with wavering mind I fear and pray 
for in my fear. Should I reach the harbour, the 
very harbour will affright me : there is more to 
dread upon the land than on the hostile sea. For 
the snares of men and of the sea unite in causing 
my woe ; the sword and the waves produce twin 
fears. The one may look for booty through my 
blood, I fear, whilst the other may wish to win 
renown from my death. Wild is the shore on my 
left, accustomed to the greed of robbers, ever filled 
with bloodshed and murder and war, and though the 
sea is shaken by stormy billows my breast is more 
turbulent than the sea. 

36 And so, kindly reader, you should grant me 
the more indulgence if these verses are as they 
are poorer than your hopes. They were not 
written, as of old, in my garden or while you, my 
familiar couch, supported my frame. I am tossing 
of a winter's day on the stormy deep, and my paper 
is sprayed by the dark waters. The vicious storm 
battles, indignant that I dare to write whilst he is 
brandishing against me his stern threats. Let the 
storm vanquish the man ; but at the same time 
that I end my verse, let him, I pray, reach his 
own end. 



Quid mihi vobiscum est, infelix cura, libelli, 

ingenio peril qui miser ipse meo ? 
cur modo damnatas repeto, mea crimina, Musas ? 

an semel est poenam commeruisse parum ? 
5 carmina fecerunt, ut me cognoscere vellet 

omine non fausto femina virque meo : 
carmina fecerunt, ut me moresque notaret 

iam demi iussa l Caesar ab Arte mea. 
deme mihi studium, vitae quoque crirnina demes ; 
10 acceptum refero versibus esse nocens, 
hoc pretium curae vigilatorumque laborum 
cepimus : ingenio est poena reperta meo. 
si saperem, doctas odissem iure sorores, 

minima cultori perniciosa suo. 
15 at nunc tanta meo comes est insania morbo 

saxa malum refero rursus ad ista 2 pedem : 
scilicet ut victus repetit gladiator harenam, 

et redit in tumidas naufraga puppis aquas, 
forsitan ut quondam Teuthrantia regna tenenti, 
20 sic mihi res eadem vulnus opemque feret, 

Musaque, quam movit, motam quoque leniet iram ; 
exorant magnos carmina saepe deos. 

1 demum visa 2 icta : ista S" 

1 The Ars amatoria, which had been removed from the 
public libraries. But the text is not certain. 

2 The Muses. 8 Telephus. See Index. 


What have I to do with you, ye books, ill- 
starred object of my toil, I, ruined and wretched 
through my own talent ? Why do I seek once 
again the Muses so recently condemned, the causes 
of my guilt ? Or is one well-earned penalty not 
enough ? Verse gave men and women a desire to 
know me, but 'twas no good omen for me ; verse caused 
Caesar to brand me and my ways by commanding 
that my " Art J>1 be forthwith taken away. Take 
away from me my pursuit and you will take away 
from my life also the charges against it. I lay the 
charge of guilt against my verse. This is the reward 
I have received for my work and my wakeful toil : a 
penalty has been found for my talent. Were I wise I 
should justly hate the learned sisters, 2 the deities fatal 
to their own votary. But as it is such madness 
accompanies my disease I am once more bending 
my unfortunate steps to those crags, just as the 
vanquished gladiator seeks again the arena or the 
battered ship returns to the surging sea. 

19 Perchance, as once for him who ruled the 
Teuthrantian kingdom, 3 the same object will both 
wound and cure me, and the Muse who aroused 
the wrath will also soften it ; song often prevails 



ipse quoque Ausonias Caesar matresque nurusque 

carmina turrigerae dicere iussit Opi. 
25 iusserat et Phoebo dici, quo tempore ludos 

fecit, quos aetas aspicit una semel. 
his precor exemplis tua nunc, mitissime Caesar, 

fiat ab ingenio mollior ira meo. 
ilia quidem iusta est, nee me meruisse negabo 
30 non adeo nostro fugit ab ore pudor 

sed nisi peccassem, quid tu concedere posses ? 

materiam veniae sors tibi nostra dedit. 
si, quotiens peccant homines, sua fulmina mittat 

luppiter, exiguo tempore inermis erit ; 
35 nunc ubi detonuit strepituque exterruit orbem, 

purum discussis aera reddit aquis. 
iure igitur genitorque deum rectorque vocatur, 

iure capax mundus nil love maius habet. 
tu quoque, cum patriae rector dicare paterque, 
40 utere more dei nomen habentis idem. 

idque facis, nee te qiiisquam moderatius umquam 

imperil potuit frena tenere sui. 
tu veniam parti superatae saepe dedisti, 

non concessurus quam tibi victor erat. 
45 divitiis etiam multos et honoribus auctos 

vidi, qui tulerant in caput arma tuum ; 
quaeque dies bellum, belli tibi sustulit iram, 

parsque simul templis utraque dona tulit ; 
utque tuus gaudet miles, quod vicerit hostem, 
50 sic victum cur se gaudeat, hostis habet. 
causa mea est melibr, qui nee contraria dicor 

arma nee hostiles esse secutus opes. 

1 The Secular Games. See Index. 2 Augustus. 


TRISTIA, II. 23-52 

on the mighty gods. Caesar himself bade the 
mothers and daughters of Ausonia chant a hymn 
to turret-bearing Ops. He commanded a hymn to 
Phoebus also when he celebrated those games 1 
which each age views but once. Such precedents 
now form the basis of my prayer, O merciful Caesar, 
that my poetic gift may assuage thy wrath. Just 
indeed it is I will not deny that I have deserved it, 
for shame has not so utterly fled my lips, But had I 
not sinned, what leniency were it possible for thee 
to display ? My fate has given thee the means of 
mercy. If at every human error Jupiter should 
hurl his thunderbolts, he would in a brief space be 
weaponless. But as it is, when the roll of his thunder 
has died away, affrighting the world with its roar, 
he scatters the rain-clouds and clears the air. Just 
it is, then, to call him the father and ruler of the 
gods, just it is that in the spacious universe there 
is naught mightier than Jove. Do thou 2 also, 
seeing thou art called ruler and father of our native 
land, follow the way of the god who has the same 
title. And that thou dost ; no one has ever been 
able to hold the reins of his power with more re- 
straint. Thou hast often granted indulgence to a 
conquered foe which he would not have granted to 
thee had he been victor. Many even who had been 
enhanced in riches and in honours have I seen direct 
their arms against thee, and the day that ended 
the battle ended for thee also the wrath of battle ; 
both sides together made their gifts to the temples ; 
and as thy soldiery rejoice to have vanquished the 
enemy, so the enemy has reason to rejoice at his 
defeat. My cause is a better one, for none assert 
that I have followed arms opposed to thee, or hostile 



per mare, per terras, per tertia numina iuro, 
per te praesentem conspicuumque deum, 
55 hunc animum favisse tibi, vir maxime, meque, 

qua sola potui, mente fuisse tuum. 
optavi, peteres caelestia sidera tarde, 

parsque fui turbae parva precantis idem, 
et pia tura dedi pro te, cumque omnibus unus 
60 ipse quoque adiuVi publica vota meis. 

quid referam libros, illos quoque, crimina nostra, 

mille locis plenos nominis esse tui ? 
inspice maius opus, quod adhuc sine fine tenetur, 1 

in non credendos corpora versa modos : 
65 invenies vestri praeconia nominis illic, 

invenies animi pignora multa mei. 
non tua carminibus maior fit gloria, nee quo, 

ut maior fiat, crescere possit, habet. 
fama lovi superest : tamen hunc sua facta referri 
70 et se materiam carminis esse iuvat, 
cumque Gigantei memorantur proelia belli, 

credibile est laetum laudibus esse suis. 
te celebrant alii, quanto decet ore, tuasque 

ingenio laudes uberiore canunt : 
75 sed tamen, ut fuso taurorum sanguine centum, 

sic capitur minimo turis honore deus. 
a ! ferus et nobis 2 crudelior omnibus hostis, 

delicias legit qui tibi cumque meas, 
carmina ne nostris quae te venerantia libris 
80 iudicio 3 possint candidiore legi. 

esse sed irato quis te mihi posset amicus ? 
vix tune ipse mihi non inimicus eram. 
1 tenetur] reliqui a nobis] nimium 8 indicio 

1 Heaven. a Sec Metam. xv. 857 ft. 


TRISTIA, II. 53-82 

power. By sea, by earth, by the third power 1 I 
swear, by thee, a present and manifest deity, that 
this soul of mine favoured thee, mightiest of men, 
and that, wherein alone I could, in heart I have been 
thine. I prayed that thou mightest make thy way 
late to the stars of heaven, and I was an humble 
member of the throng that uttered the same prayer ; 
loyal incense I offered in thy behalf and with all the 
rest I too aided the prayers of the state with my own. 

61 Why should I say that my books, even those 
which are my accusers, in a thousand passages 
hold thy name ? Examine the greater work, which 
is still kept unfinished, the book of figures trans- 
formed in ways unbelievable ; thou wilt find praises 
of thy name there, 2 thou wilt find many pledges of 
my loyalty. Thy glory is not made mightier by 
song, nor has it room wherein to grow so as to be 
made mightier. Jupiter has more than enough of 
glory : yet is he pleased to have his deeds related 
and himself become the theme of song, and when 
the battles of his war with the Giants are told, we 
may believe that he finds pleasure in his praises. 
Thou art praised by others in a lofty style that 
befits thee ; they sing thy praise with richer gifts 
than mine ; but though a god be won by the out- 
poured blood of a hundred bulls, yet is he also won 
by the humblest offering of incense. 

77 Alas ! harsh was he and a more cruel enemy to 
me than all the rest, who read to thee my playful 
verse, preventing any verse that honours thee in 
my books from being read with a fairer judgment. 
But when thou wert angry, who could have been 
friendly to me ? Scarce could I at that time re- 
frain from being an enemy to myself. When once 



cum coepit quassata domus subsidere, partes 

in proclinatas omne recumbit onus, 
85 cunctaque fortuna rimam faciente dehiscunt, 

inque l suo cladem pondere tracta ruunt. 
ergo hominum quaesitum odium mi hi carmine, 


debuit, est vultus turba secuta tuos. 
at, memini, vitamque meam moresque probabas 
90 illo, quern dederas, praetereuntis equo. 
quod si non prodest et honesti gloria nulla 

redditur, at nullum crimen adeptus eram. 2 
nee male commissa est nobis fortuna reorum 

lisque 3 decem deciens inspicienda viris. 
95 res quoque privatas statui sine crimine iudex, 
deque mea fassa est pars quoque victa fide, 
me miserum ! potui, si non extrema nocerent, 

iudicio tutus non semel esse tuo. 
ultima me perdunt, imoque sub aequore mergit 
100 incolumem totiens una procella ratem. 

nee mini pars nocuit de gurgite parva, sed omnes 

pressere hoc fluctus oceanusque caput. 
cur aliquid vidi ? cur noxia lumina feci ? 

cur imprudenti cognita culpa mihi ? 
105 inscius Actaeon vidit sine veste Dianam : 
praeda fuit canibus non minus ille suis. 
scilicet in superis etiam fortuna luenda est, 

nee veniam laeso numine casus habet. 
ilia nostra die, qua me malus abstulit error, 
110 parva quidem periit, sed sine labe domus : 

1 ipse . . . quodam corr. Vogel. z eram] erit 

8 usque : lisque Heinsius 


1 In tl^e annual procession of the knights. 

TRISTIA, II. 83-110 

a battered house has begun to settle, the whole 
weight leans upon the yielding parts, when fate 
causes the first rift, the whole gapes apart and crashes 
to destruction, dragged by its own weight. So 
my verse has won me men's dislike ; the crowd, as 
was right, have only guided themselves by the 
expression of thy face. 

89 And yet, I remember, thou wert wont to approve 
my life and my ways when I passed before thee 
with the steed thou hadst granted me. 1 If that 
avails me not, if no renown for what is honourable 
is granted me, at least I had suffered no impeach- 
ment. Nor was fate of those on trial wrongfully 
entrusted to me, suits to be examined by the 
centum virs. Private cases also I brought to settle- 
ment, acting without criticism as referee ; and 
even the defeated side admitted my good faith. 
Wretched me ! were it not for the injury caused me 
by recent events, I might be secure through more 
than one judgment of thine. These last events 
ruin me ; one blast sends to the bottom of the sea 
the craft that has so many times been safe. 
Tis no small part of the flood that has wrought me 
harm, but all the billows of ocean have fallen upon 
my head. 

103 why did I see anything ? Why did I make 
my eyes guilty ? Why was I so thoughtless as to 
harbour the knowledge of a fault ? Unwitting was 
Actaeon when he beheld Diana unclothed ; none 
the less he became the prey of his own hounds. 
Clearly, among the gods, even ill-fortune must be 
atoned for, nor is mischance an excuse when a deity 
is wronged. On that day when my ruinous mistake 
ravished me away, my house, humble but stainless, 



sic quoque parva tamen, patrio dicatur ut aevo 

clara nee ullius nobilitate minor, 
et neque divitiis nee paupertate notanda, 

unde sit in neutrum conspiciendus eques. 
115 sit 1 quoque nostra domus vel censu parva vel ortu, 2 

ingenio certe non latet ilia meo ; 
quo videar quamvis nimium iuvenaliter usus, 

grande tamen toto nomen ab orbe fero, 
turbaque doctorum Nasonem novit et audet 
120 non fastiditis adnumerare viris. 

corruit haec igitur Musis accepta, sub uno 

sed non exiguo crimine lapsa domus : 
atque ea sic lapsa est, ut surgere, si modo laesi 

ematuruerit Caesaris ira, queat, 
125 cuius in eventu poenae dementia tanta est, 

venerit ut nostro lenior ilia metu. 
vita data est, citraque necem tua constitit ira, 

princeps parce viribus use tuis ! 
insuper accedunt, te non adimente, paternae, 

130 tamquam vita parum muneris esset, opes, 
nee mea decreto damnasti facta senatus, 
nee mea selecto iudice iussa fuga est. 
tristibus invectus verbis ita principe dignum 

ultus es offensas, ut decet, ipse tuas. 
135 adde quod edictum, quamvis immite minaxque, 

attamen in poenae nomine lene fuit : 
quippe relegatus, non exul, dicor in illo, 

privaque fortunae sunt ibi verba meae. 
nulla quidem sano gravior mentisque potent! 
140 poena est, quam tanto displicuisse viro ; 

1 sit] si vel sic 2 ortu] astu 

1 If the text is right, Ovid means that the language of th 

TRISTIA, II. 111-140 

was destroyed humble indeed, but in our ancestors' 
time 'tis said to have been illustrious and inferior 
in fame to none, though noted neither for wealth 
nor poverty, so that from it spring knights con- 
spicuous for neither. But even if our house be 
small in wealth and in origin, at least my genius 
does not suffer it to be obscure. This I may have 
employed in too youthful exuberance, yet my name 
is great throughout the world ; a throng of the 
cultured are well acquainted with Naso and venture 
to count him with those whom they do not despise. 

121 Fallen then is my house, though pleasing to 
the Muses, beneath one charge albeit no small one 
yet so fallen that it can rise again, if only time shall 
mellow the wrath of injured Caesar whose leniency 
in the penalty that has befallen is such that the 
penalty is milder than 1 feared. Life was granted 
me ; thy wrath halted ere it achieved my death : 
O sire, with what restraint hast thou used thy 
power ! Then too there is added for thou takest 
it not away my inherited wealth, as if life were too 
small a gift. Thou didst not condemn my deeds 
through a decree of the senate nor was my exile 
ordered by a special court. With words of stern 
invective worthy of a prince thou didst thyself, 
as is fitting, avenge thine own injury. And thy 
command, though severe and threatening, was yet 
mild in naming my punishment, for it calls me 
relegatus, not exile, and thou dost use therein language 
especially adapted to my fate. 1 

139 No punishment indeed is heavier to one in 
command of his senses than the displeasure of so 

edict was not that which was customarily used but was 

peculiar, especially in calling him relegatus (Introd. p. xviii). 

F 65 


sed solet interdum fieri placabile numen : 

nube solet pulsa candidus ire dies, 
vidi ego pampineis oneratam vitibus ulmum, 

quae fuerat saevi fulmine tacta lovis. 
145 ipse licet sperare vetes, sperabimus usque l ; 

hoc unum fieri te prohibente potest. 
spes mihi magna subit, cum te, mitissime princeps, 

spes mihi, respicio cum mea facta, cadit. 
ac veluti ventis agitantibus aera non est 
150 aequalis rabies continuusque furor, 

sed modo subsidunt intermissique silescunt, 

vimque putes illos deposuisse suam : 
sic abeunt redeuntque mei variantque timores, 

et spem placandi dantque negantque tui. 
155 per superos igitur, qui dant tibi longa dabuntque 

tempora, Romanum si modo nomen amant, 
per patriam, quae te tuta et secura parente est, 

cuius, ut in populo, pars ego nuper eram, 
sic tibi, quern semper factis animoque mereris, 
1GO reddatur gratae debitus urbis amor ; 
Livia sic tecum sociales compleat annos, 
quae, nisi te, nullo coniuge digna fuit, 
quae si non esset, caelebs te vita deceret, 
nullaque, cui posses esse maritus, erat ; 
165 sospite sit tecum 2 natus quoque sospes, et olim 

imperium regat hoc cum seniore senex ; 
ut faciuntque tui, sidus iu venal e, nepotes, 
per tua perque sui facta parentis cant ; 
sic adsueta tuis semper Victoria castris 
170 nunc quoque se praestet notaque signa pctat, 

1 utque vel atque : usque Ihnistus 
2 si tecum vel sic te sit corr. r 

1 Tiberius; cf. alsoTJrTff! 
2 Germanicus and Drusus the Younger. 

TRISTIA, II. 141-170 

mighty a man as thou ; yet 'tis common for a deity 
to be appeased at times ; 'tis common for clouds to 
scatter and the bright daylight to return. I have 
seen an elm laden with the tendrils of a vine even 
after it had been blasted by the thunderbolt of 
angry Jove. Though thou dost thyself forbid me 
to hope, I shall hope constantly ; this one thing 
can be done in spite of thy command. Strong hope 
comes upon me when I regard thee, most merciful 
of princes, but hope fails me when I regard my 
own deeds. As in the winds that buffet the air 
there is no steady, no constant madness, but now 
they decrease or are lulled to silence so that one 
would suppose they had laid aside their pow r er, in 
this wise my fears depart, return, or change, giving 
me or denying me hope of appeasing thee. 

155 Wherefore by the gods above, who give and 
will give thee long years, if only they love the Roman 
race, by our native land which is safe and secure 
under thy fatherly care, of which I as one among 
the people was but recently a part ; so, I pray, 
may there be duly paid thee by a grateful city that 
debt of love which thy constant deeds and spirit 
deserve ; so in union with thee may Li via fill out 
her years she whom no husband but thou deserved, 
but for whose existence an unwedded life would 
befit thee and there were none other whom thou 
couldst espouse ; so, together with thy safety may 
thy son l too be safe, and one day rule this empire, 
an old man with one still older ; and may thy 
grandsons, 2 stars of the youth, still hold their course, 
as now they do, through thy deeds and those of 
their own sire ; so may Victory, always at home in 
thy camp, now also present herself, seeking the 



Ausoniumque ducem solitis circumvolet alls, 

ponat et in nitida laurea serta coma, 
per quern bella geris, cuius nunc corpore pugnas, 

auspicium cui das grande deosque tuos, 
175 dimidioque tui praesens es et aspicis l urbem, 

dimidio procul es saevaque bella geris ; 
hie tibi sic redeat superato victor ab hoste, 

inque coronatis fulgeat altus equis, 
parce, precor, fulmenque tuum, fera tela, reconde, 
180 heu nimium misero cognita tela mihi ! 

parce, pater patriae, nee nominis inmemor huius 

olim placandi spem mihi tolle tui ! 
non precor ut redeam, quamvis maiora petitis 

credibile est magnos saepe dedisse deos ; 
185 mitius exilium si das propiusque roganti, 

pars erit ex poena magna levata rnea. 
ultima perpetior medios eiectus in hostes, 

nee quisquam patria longius exul abest. 
solus ad egressus missus septemplicis Histri 
190 Parrhasiae gelido virginis axe premor 
Ciziges et Colchi Tereteaque 2 turba Getaeque 

Danuvii mediis vix prohibentur aquis 
cumque alii causa tibi sint graviore fugati, 

ulterior nulli, quam mihi, terra data est. 
195 longius hac nihil est, nisi tantum frigus et hostes, 

et maris adstricto quae coit unda gelu. 
hactenus Kuxini pars est Romana sinistri : 

proxima Basternae Sauromataeque tenent. 

1 et (es) respicis : es et aspicis <T 
2 inetereaque corr. Ellis 

1 A different people from the Colchi who dwelt east o 
the Pontus. Perhaps 191-193 should he transposed afte 
198, c/. Owen, Trist., 1889, pp. xcv-xcvi. 


TRISTIA, II. 171-198 

standards so well known to her, hovering with 
familiar wings about the Ausonian leader and 
placing the laurel wreath upon the shining hair of 
him through whom thou dost wage wars, in whose 
person thou art now doing battle, to whom thou dost 
grant thy lofty auspices and thy gods and thus art 
half present, keeping watch o'er the city, and half 
far away conducting savage wars ; so may he return 
to thee after conquering the foe, and be seen in 
radiance high on a garlanded car oh spare me, I 
pray, and hide away thy thunderbolt, cruel weapon, 
alas ! but too well known to wretched me ! Spare 
me, father of our country ! Do not. forgetful of 
this name, take from me the hope that sometime I 
may appease thee ! I pray not for return, even 
though we may believe that more than the prayer 
has oft been granted by the mighty gods. Grant 
me a milder and a nearer place of exile, and a large 
part of my punishment will be lightened. 

187 I am now enduring the extreme, thrust forth 
into the midst of enemies ; no exile is farther from 
his native land. I alone have been sent to the 
mouths of the seven-streamed Hister, I am crushed 
beneath the Parrhasian virgin's icy pole. The 
Ciziges, the Colchi, 1 the hordes of Teretei, and the 
Getae are scarce fended off by the interposition of 
the Danube's waters. Though others have been 
exiled for weightier cause, a more remote land has 
been assigned to no one ; nothing is farther away 
than this land except only the cold and the enemy 
and the sea whose waters congeal with the frost. 
Here is the end of Rome's domain on the ill-omened 
Euxine's shore ; hard by the Basternae and Sauro- 
matae hold sway. This land comes last of all beneath 



haec est Ausonio sub iure novissima vixque 
200 haeret in imperil margine terra tui. 

unde precor supplex ut nos in tuta releges, 

ne sit cum patria pax quoque adempta mihi, 
ne timeam gentes, quas non bene summovet Histcr, 

neve tuus possim civis ab hoste capi. 
205 fas prohibet Latio quemquam de sanguine natum 

Caesaribus salvis barbara vincla pati. 
perdiderint cum me duo crimina, carmen et error, 

alterius facti culpa silenda mihi : 
nam non sum tanti, renovem ut tua vulnera, Caesar, 
210 quern nimio plus est indoluisse semel. 

altera pars superest, qua turpi carmine factus 

arguor obsceni doctor adulterii. 
fas ergo est aliqua caelestia pectora falli, 

et sunt notitia multa minora tua ; 
215 utque deos caelumque simul sublime tuenti 

non vacat exiguis rebus adesse lovi, 
de te pendentem sic dum circumspicis orbem, 

effugiunt curas inferiora tuas. 
scilicet imperii princeps statione relicta 
220 imparibus legeres carmina facta modis ? 
non ea te moles Romani nominis urguet, 

inque tuis umeris tarn leve fertur onus, 
lusibus ut possis advertere numen ineptis, 

excutiasque oculis otia nostra tuis. 
225 nunc tibi Pannonia est, nunc Illyris ora domanda, 

Raetica nunc praebent Thraciaque arma me turn, 
nunc petit Armenius pacem, nunc porrigit arcus 

Parthus eques timida captaque signa manu, 

1 The Ars amatoria. 

TRISTIA, II. 199-228 

Ausonian law, clinging with difficulty to the very 
edge of thy empire. 

201 And so I offer a suppliant's prayer that thou 
wilt banish me to a safe abode that together with 
my fatherland peace also be not taken from me, 
that I may not fear the tribes which the Hister 
holds insecurely in check, that I, thy subject, be not 
within an enemy's power to capture. Right forbids 
that anyone of Latin blood should suffer barbarian 
bondage while Caesars live. 

207 Though two crimes, a poem l and a blunder, 
have brought me ruin, of my fault in the one I 
must keep silent, for my worth is not such that I 
may reopen thy wounds, O Caesar ; 'tis more than 
enough that thou shouldst have been pained once. 
The other remains : the charge that by an obscene 
poem I have taught foul adultery. 'Tis possible 
then, somehow, for divine minds to be deceived, for 
many things to be beneath thy notice. As Jove 
who watches at once o'er the gods and the lofty 
heaven has not leisure to give heed to small things, 
so whilst thou dost gaze about upon the world that 
depends upon thee, things of less moment escape 
thy care. Shouldst thou, forsooth, the prince of 
the world, abandon thy post and read songs of mine 
set to unequal measure ? That weight of the Roman 
name does not lay so light a burden upon thy 
shoulders that thou canst direct thy divine attention 
to silly trifles, examining with thine own eye the 
product of my leisure hours. Now Pannoiiia, now 
the Illyrian shore must be subdued by thee, now 
the wars in Raetia or Thrace bring thee anxiety ; 
now the Armenian seeks peace, now the Parthian 
horseman extends to thee with timorous hand his 



nunc te prole tua iuvenem Germania sentit, 
230 bellaque pro magno Caesare Caesar obit ; 

denique, ut in tanto, quantum non extitit umquam, 

corpore pars nulla est, quae labet, imperii. 
urbs quoque te et legum lassat tutela tuarum 

et morum, similes quos cupis esse tuis. 
235 nee l tibi contingunt, quae gentibus otia praestas, 

bellaque cum multis inrequieta geris. 
mirer in hoc igitur tantarum pondere rerum 

te numquam nostros evoluisse iocos ? 
at si, quod mallem, vacuum tibi forte 2 fuisset, 
240 nullum legisses crimen in Arte mea. 
ilia quidem fateor frontis non esse severae 
scripta, nee a tanto principe digna legi : 
non tamen idcirco legum contraria iussis 

sunt ea Romanas erudiuntque nurus. 
245 neve, quibus scribam, possis dubitare, libellos, 

quattuor hos versus e tribus unus habet : 
" este procul, vittae tenues, insigne pudoris, 
quaeque tegis medios instita longa pedes ! 
nil nisi legitimum concessaque furta canemus, 
250 inque meo nullum carmine crimen erit." 
ecquid ab hac omnes rigide summovimus Arte, 

quas stola contingi vittaque sumpta vetat ? 
" at matrona potest alienis artibus uti, 

quodque 3 trahat, quamvis non doceatur, habet." 
255 nil igitur matrona legat, quia carmine ab omni 
ad delinquendum doctior esse potest. 

1 non 2 tibi forte] 3 quoque 

1 Tiberius. 

2 See Ar amat. i. 31-34. The verses are almost identical. 

3 The instita was a border or ruffle woven to the lower 
edge of the matron's dress (stola). 


TRISTIA, II. 229-256 

bow and the standards once he seized ; now through 
thy son l Germany feels thy youthful vigour, and a 
Caesar wars for a mighty Caesar. In fine, though 
the body of the empire is vaster than has ever ex- 
isted, no part is weak. The city also wearies thee, 
and the guardianship of thy laws and of the morals 
which thou dost desire to be like thine own, nor to 
thy lot falls that repose thou bestowest upon the 
nations, for thou art waging many wars that allow 
thee no rest. 

237 Can I wonder, then, that under this weight of 
great affairs thou hast never unrolled the volume 
of my jests ? Yet if, as I could wish, thou hadst 
chanced to have the leisure, thou wouldst have read 
no crimes in my " Art." That poem, I admit, has 
no serious mien, it is not worthy to be read by so 
great a prince ; but not for that reason is it opposed 
to the commandments of the law, nor does it offer 
teaching to the daughters of Rome. And that thou 
may'st not doubt for whom I write, one of the three 
books contains these four verses : 2 " Far from me ! 
ye narrow fillets, badge of modesty ! and thou, long 
ruffle 3 covering half the feet ! I shall sing of naught 
but what is lawful, of loves which men allow. There 
shall be in my song no sin." Have I not strictly ex- 
cluded from this " Art " all women whom the assump- 
tion of the robe and fillet of wedlock protect ? 

253 But, thou mayst say, the matron can use arts 
intended for others and draw therefrom instruction, 
though she be not herself the pupil. Let the 
matron read nothing then, for from every song 
she can gain wisdom for sin. From whatever 



quodcumque attigerit, siqua est studiosa sinistri, 

ad vitium mores instruct inde suos. 
sumpserit Annales nihil est hirsutius illis 
260 facta sit unde parens Ilia, nempe leget. 

sumpserit Aeneadum genetrix ubi prima, requiret, 

Aeneadum genetrix unde sit alma Venus, 
persequar inferius, modo si licet ordine ferri, 

posse nocere animis carminis omne genus. 
265 non tamen idcirco crimen liber omnis habebit : 

nil prodest, quod non laedere possit idem, 
igne quid utilius ? siquis tamen urere tecta 

comparat, audaces instruit igne manus. 
eripit interdum, modo dat medicina salutem, 
270 quaeque iuvet, monstrat, quaeque sit herba nocens. 
et latro et cautus praecingitur ense viator ; 

ille sed insidias, hie sibi portat opem. 
discitur innocuas ut agat facundia causas ; 

protegit haec sontes, inmeritosque premit. 
275 sic igitur carmen, recta si mente legatur, 

constabit nulli posse nocere meum. 
" at quasdam vitio." quicumque hoc concipit, errat, 

et nimium scriptis arrogat ille meis. 
ut tamen hoc fatear, ludi quoque semina praebent 
280 nequitiae : tolli tota theatra iube ! 

peccandi causam multis quam 1 saepe dederunt, 

Martia cum durum sternit harena solum ! 
tollatur Circus ! non tuta licentia Circi est : 

hie sedet ignoto iuncta puella viro. 

1 multi quam vel quam multis corr. Riese 

1 Probably the Annals of Ennius. 

2 The opening words of Lucretius' De rerum natura. 
The Romans often refer to a work by citing the first 


TRISTIA, II. 257-284 

she touches, be she inclined to wrongdoing, she 
will equip her character for vice. Let her take 
up the Annals l naught is ruder than they she 
will surely read by whom Ilia became a mother. 
So soon as she takes up the " Aeneadum genetrix," 2 
she will ask by whom fostering Venus became the 
mother of the Aeneadae. I will show later, if only 
I may present it in order, that it is possible for the 
soul to be injured by every kind of poem. Yet not 
on that account shall every book be guilty. Nothing 
is useful which cannot at the same time be injurious. 
What more useful than fire ? Yet whoever is 
making ready to burn a house arms his criminal 
hands with fire. Medicine sometimes removes, 
sometimes bestows safety, showing what plant is 
healthful, what harmful. Both the brigand and the 
cautious wayfarer gird on a sword, but the one 
carries it for treacherous attack, the other for his 
own defence. Eloquence is learned for the conduct 
of just causes ; yet it protects the guilty and crushes 
the innocent. So then with verse : if it be read with 
upright mind, it will be established that it can 
injure nobody even though it be mine. 

277 " But there are certain women whom I deprave." 
Whoever believes this is mistaken and attributes 
too much to my works. Even should I admit this 
charge, the games also furnish the seeds of wrong- 
doing ; order the abolition of all the theatres ! A 
pretext for sin has oft been found by many at the 
time when the hard earth is covered with the sand 
of Mars 3 ; abolish the Circus ! The license of the 
Circus is not safe, for here a girl may sit close to a 

3 i.e. the arena in which gladiatorial displays, etc., 



285 cum quaedam spatientur in hoc, 1 ut amator eodem 2 

conveniat, quare porticus ulla patet ? 
quis locus est templis augustior ? haec quoque vitet, 

in culpam siqua est ingeniosa suam. 
cum steterit lovis aede, lovis succurret in acde 
290 quam multas matres fecerit ille deus. 
proxima adoranti lunonis templa subibit, 

paelicibus multis hanc doluisse deam. 
Pallade conspecta, natum de crimine virgo 
sustulerit quare, quaeret, Erich thonium. 
295 venerit in magni templum, tua munera, Martis, 

stat Venus Ultori iuncta, vir 3 ante fores. 
Isidis aede sedens, cur hanc Saturnia, quaeret, 

egerit lonio Bosphorioque mari. 
in Venerem Anchises, in Lunam Latmius heros, 
300 in Cererem lasion, qui referatur, erit. 

omnia perversas possunt corrumpere mentes ; 

stant tamen ilia suis omnia tuta locis. 
et procul a scripta solis meretricibus Arte 

summovet ingenuas pagina prima manus. 
305 quaecumque erupit, qua non sinit ire sacerdos, 

protinus huic 4 dempti criminis ipsa re a est. 
nee tamen est facinus versus evolvere mollis ; 

multa licet castae non facienda legant. 
saepe supercilii nudas matrona severi 
310 et veneris stantis ad genus omne videt. 
corpora Vestales oculi meretricia cernunt, 
nee domino poenae res ea causa fuit. 

1 hac 2 eadcm 3 viro 

4 haec ; huic Rothmaler 

1 After the battle of Actium Augustus built a temple 
to Mars, the Avenger. 

* This probably refers to the statues of Venus Genetrix and 
Mars by Arcesilaus. The goddess was depicted fully clothed, 
perhaps in a man's armour, and Cupid was shown gliding 


TRISTIA, II. 285-312 

strange man. Since certain women stroll in them, 
intent on meeting a lover there, why does any 
portico stand open ? What place more dignified 
than the temples ? But these too should be avoided 
by any woman whose nature inclines to fault. When 
she stands in Jupiter's temple, in Jupiter's temple 
it will occur to her how many that god has caused 
to be mothers. 

291 As she worships in the neighbouring temple 
of Juno, the thought will come upon her that many 
rivals have caused this goddess wrath. When she 
has looked on Pallas, she will ask why the virgin 
brought up Erichthonius, the child of sin. If she 
enters the temple of mighty Mars, thine own gift, 1 
Venus stands close to the Avenger, in the guise of 
a man before the door. 2 If she sit in Isis' fane, she 
will ask why she was driven by Saturnia over the 
Ionian sea and the Bosporus. Anchises will remind 
her of Venus, the Latmian hero 3 of Luna, lasion of 
Ceres. All things can corrupt perverted minds, 
yet all those things stand harmless in their proper 
places. Far from the " Art," written for courtesans 
alone, its first page warns the hands of upright 
women. Any woman who breaks away to a place 
forbidden by a priest, forthwith removes from him 
the sin and becomes herself guilty. Nevertheless 
it is no crime to read tender verse ; the chaste may 
read much that they should not do. Often matrons 
of serious brow behold women nude, ready for 
every kind of lust. The eyes of Vestals behold the 
bodies of courtesans nor has that been the cause 
of punishment to their owner. 

down in such a way as to form a bond (iuncta) between the 
divinities. 8 Endymion. 



at cur in nostra nimia est lascivia Musa, 

curve meus cuiquam suadet amare liber ? 
315 nil nisi peccatum manifestaque culpa fatenda est : 

paenitet ingenii iudiciique mei. 
cur non Argolicis potius quae concidit armis 

vexata est iterum carmine Troia meo ? 
cur tacui Thebas et vulnera mutua fratrum, 
320 et septeni portas, sub duce quamque suo ? 
nee mihi materiam bellatrix Roma negabat, 

et pius est patriae faeta referre labor, 
denique cum meritis impleveris omnia, Caesar, 

pars mihi de multis una canenda fuit, 
325 utque trahunt oculos radiantia lumina solis, 

traxissent animum sic tua facta meum. 
arguor inmerito. tenuis mihi campus aratur ; 

illud erat magnae fertilitatis opus, 
non ideo debet pelago se credere, siqua 
330 audet in exiguo ludere cumba lacu. 

forsan et hoc dubitem numeris levioribus aptus 

sim satis, in parvos sufficiamque modos : 
at si me iubeas domitos lovis igne Gigantes 

dicere, conantem debilitabit onus 
335 divitis ingenii est immania Caesaris acta 

condere, materia ne superetur opus, 
et tarnen ausus eram ; sed detrectarc videbar, 

quodque nefas, damno viribus esse tuis. 
ad leve rursus opus, iuvenalia carmina, veni, 
340 et falso movi pectus amore meum. 

non equidem vellem. sed me mea fata trahebant, 

inque meas poenas ingeniosus eram. 
ei mihi, quod didiei ! cur me docuere parentes 

litteraque est oculos ulla morata meos ? 

1 Eteocles and Polynices. 

TRISTIA, II. 313-34* 

313 Yet why is my muse so wanton ? Why does 
my book advise anybody to love ? There is naught 
for me but confession of my error and my obvious 
fault : 1 repent of my talent and my tastes. Why 
rather did I not harass once again in my song Troy, 
whieh fell before the Argive arms ? Why was I 
silent of Thebes and the mutual w r ounds of the 
brothers, 1 and the seven gates each under command 
of its own leader ? Warlike Rome did not refuse 
me a subject, arid 'tis a pious task to tell the story 
of one's native land. In fine, since thou hast filled 
the world with thy great deeds, Caesar, some one 
part of those many should have been the theme 
of my song, and as the glittering rays of the 
sun attract the eye, so thy exploits would have 
drawn forth my powers. Undeservedly am 1 blamed. 
Poor is the field I plough ; that was a theme mighty 
and fruitful. A skiff ought not to trust itself to the 
sea just because it ventures to disport itself in a 
little pool. Perhaps (even this I may doubt) I am 
well enough suited to lighter verse, capable of humble 
measures ; but if thou shouldst bid me sing of the 
Giants conquered by Jove's lightning, the burden 
will weaken me in the attempt. Only a rich mind 
can tell the tale of Caesar's mighty deeds if the 
theme is not to surpass the work. Even so I made the 
venture, but methought I impaired the theme and 
an impious thing wrought injury to thy might. 

339 1 returned once more to my light task, the 
songs of youth, stimulating my breast with fictitious 
love. Would that I had not ! But my fate drew 
me on to be clever to my own hurt. Alas that I 
ever acquired learning ! Why did my parents teach 
me ? Why did any letter ever beguile my eyes ? 



345 hacc tibi me invisum lascivia fecit, ob artes, 

quis ratus es vetitos sollicitare toros. 
sed neque me nuptae didicerunt furta magistro, 

quodque parum novit, nemo docere potest. 
sic ego delicias et mollia carmina feci, 
350 strinxerit ut nomen fabula nulla meum. 

nee quisquam est adeo media de plebe maritus, 

ut dubius vitio sit pater ille meo. 
crede mihi, distant mores a carmine nostro 

vita verecunda est, Musa iocosa mea 
355 magnaque pars mendax operum est et ficta meorum : 

plus sibi permisit cornpositore suo. 
nee liber indicium est animi, sed honesta voluntas 1 

plurima mulcendis auribus apta ferens. 2 
Accius esset atrox, conviva Terentius essct, 
360 essent pugnaces qui fera bella eanunt. 
denique composui teneros non solus amores : 

composito poenas solus amore dedi. 
quid, nisi cum multo Venerem confundere vino 

praecepit lyrici Tei'a Musa senis ? 
365 Lesbia quid docuit Sappho, nisi amare, puellas ? 

tuta tamen Sappho, tutus et ille fuit. 
nee tibi, Battiade, nocuit, quod saepe legenti 

delicias versu fassus es ipse tuas. 
fabula iucundi nulla est sine amore Menandri, 
370 et solet hie pueris virginibusque legi. 

Ilias ipsa quid est aliud nisi adultera, de qua 

inter amatorem pugna virumque fuit ? 
quid prius est illi flamma Briscidos, utque 

fecerit iratos rapta puella duces ? 

1 voluptas 2 feret vd fores : ferens r 

1 359-360 are the conclusion of a condition, " if this were 
not true," implied in 357-358. 

TRISTIA, IL 345-374 

This wantonness has caused thee to hate me on 
account of the arts which thou didst think disturbed 
unions that all were forbidden to attack. But no 
brides have learned deceptions through my teach- 
ing ; nobody can teach that of which he knows too 
little. I have composed songs of pleasure and love 
but in such fashion that no scandal has ever touched 
my name. No husband exists even amid the common 
people who doubts his fatherhood through sin of 
mine. I assure you, my character differs from my 
verse (my life is moral, my muse is gay), and most 
of my work, unreal and fictitious, has allowed itself 
more licence than its author has had. A book is not 
an evidence of one's soul, but an honourable impulse 
that presents very many things suited to charm the 
ear. Else 1 would Accius be cruel, Terence a reveller, 
or those would be quarrelsome who sing of fierce 

361 Moreover, not I alone have written tales of 
tender love, but for writing of love I alone have 
been punished. What but the union of love and 
lavish wine was the teaching of the lyric muse of 
the aged Tean bard 2 ? What did Lesbian Sappho 
teach the girls if not love ? Yet Sappho was secure, 
the Tean also was secure. It did not injure thee, 
scion of Battus, 3 that thou didst often in verse confess 
to the reader thy wanton pleasures. No play of 
charming Menander is free from love, yet he is 
wont to be read by boys and girls. The very Iliad 
what is it but an adulteress about whom her lover 
and her husband fought ? What occurs in it before 
the flaming passion for Briseis and the feud between 
the chiefs due to the seizure of the girl ? What is 
2 Anacreon. 8 Callimachus. 

G 81 


375 aut quid Odyssea est nisi femina propter amorem, 

dum vir abest, multis una petita prods ? 
quis nisi Maeonides, Venerem Martemque ligatos 

narrat, in obsceno corpora prensa toro ? 
unde nisi indicio magni sciremus Homeri 
380 hospitis igne duas incaluisse- deas ? 

omne genus scripti gravitate tragoedia vincit : 
haec quoque materiam semper amoris habet. 
num quid l in Hippolyto, nisi caecae flamma novercae ? 

nobilis est Canace fratris amore sui. 
385 quid ? non Tantalides, agitante Cupidine currus, 

Pisaeam Phrygiis vexit eburnus equis ? 
tingueret ut ferrum natorum sanguine mater, 

concitus a laeso fecit amore dolor, 
fecit amor subitas volucres cum paelice regem, 
390 quaeque suum luget nunc quoque mater Ityn. 
si non Aeropen frater sceleratus amasset, 

aversos Solis non legeremus equos. 
impia nee tragicos tetigisset Scylla cothurnos, 

ni patrium crinem desecuisset amor. 
395 qui legis Electran et egentem mentis Oresten, 2 

Aegisthi crimen Tyndaridosque legis. 
nam quid de tetrico referam domitore Chimaerae, 

quern leto fallax hospita paene dedit ? 
quid loquar Hermionen, quid te, Schoenela virgo, 
400 teque, Mycenaeo Phoebas amata duci ? 

1 namquid 2 orestcm 

1 Penelope. 
2 Circe and Calypso, who loved Ulysses. 

3 Phaedra. 

4 Pelops, who had an ivory shoulder. 

e Medea. 6 Terms. 

7 i.e. would never have become a theme for tragedy. 


TRISTIA, II. 375-400 

the Odyssey except the story of one woman l wooed 
in her husband's absence for love's sake by many 
suitors ? Who but the Maeonian tells of Venus 
and Mars caught in bonds of unseemly love ? On 
whose evidence but that of great Homer should we 
know of two goddesses 2 on fire with passion for a 
guest ? 

381 Every kind of writing is surpassed in serious- 
ness by tragedy, but this also constantly deals with 
the theme of love. Is there aught in the Hippo- 
lytus except the blind passion of a stepmother 3 ? 
Canace's fame is due to her love for her brother. 
Again, did not the ivory scion 4 of Tantalus, while 
Cupid drove the car, bear away the Pisan maiden 
with his Phrygian horses ? The mother 5 who 
stained her sword with the blood of her children 
was roused to the deed by the anger of slighted love. 
Love suddenly transformed into birds the king 6 
with his paramour, and that mother who still mourns 
her son Itys. If her accursed brother had not 
loved Aerope we should not read about the horses 
of the Sun turning aside. Wicked Scylla would 
never have touched the tragic buskin 7 had not love 
caused her to sever her father's lock. You who 
read of Electra and crazed Orestes are reading of 
the guilt of Aegisthus and Tyndareus' daughter. 8 
Why should I tell of the dread conqueror 9 of the 
Chimaera whom a deceitful hostess brought near to 
death ? Why speak of Hermione, why of thee, 
maiden daughter 10 of Schoeneus, and of thee, u 
priestess of Phoebus, beloved by the Mycenean 

8 Clytaemestra. 9 Bellerophon. 

10 Atalanta. n Cassandra. 



quid Danaen Danaesque nurum matremque Lyaei 

Haemonaque et noctes cui coiere duae ? 
quid Peliae generum, quidThesea, quique l Pelasgum 

Iliacam tetigit de rate primus humum ? 
405 hue lole Pyrrhique parens, hue Herculis uxor, 

hue accedat Hylas Iliacusque puer. 
tempore deficiar, tragicos si persequar ignes, 
vixque meus capiet nomina nuda liber. 
est et in obscenos commixta 2 tragoedia risus, 
410 multaque praeteriti verba pudoris habet ; 
nee nocet auctori, mollem qui fecit Achillem, 

infregisse suis fortia facta modis. 
iunxit Aristides Milesia crimina secum, 

pulsus Aristides nee tamen urbe sua est. 
415 nee qui descripsit corrumpi semina matrum, 

Eubius, impurae conditor historiae, 
nee qui composuit nuper Sybaritica, fugit, 

nee qui concubitus non tacuere suos. 
suntque ea doctorum monumentis mixta 3 virorum, 
420 muneribusque ducum publica facta patent, 
neve peregrinis tan turn defendar ab armis, 

et Romanus habet multa iocosa liber, 
utque suo Martem cecinit gravis Ennius ore 

Ennius ingenio maximus, arte rudis 
425 explicat ut causas rapidi Lucretius ignis, 
casurumque triplex vaticinatur opus, 

1 quidve vel quisve corr. Ehwald 
2 deflexa 8 saxa vel texta 

1 Agamemnon. 2 Andromeda. 

8 Semele, mother of Bacchus. 
4 Alcmena. 6 Admetus. 

6 I'rotesilaus. 7 Deidamia. 

8 Dejanira. Ganymede. 


TRISTIA, II. 401-426 

leader l ? Why of Danae and of Danae's daughter- 
in-law, 2 of the mother 3 of Lyaeus, of Haemon, and 
of her 4 for whom two nights combined ? Why 
speak of Pelias' son-in-law, 6 of Theseus, and of him 6 
who first of the Pelasgians touched the soil of Ilium ? 
To these add lole, and the mother 7 of Pyrrhus, 
the wife 8 of Hercules, Hylas, and the Ilian boy. 9 
Time will fail if I tell all the loves of tragedy, and 
my book will scarce hold the bare names. 

409 Xhere is too a tragedy involved in coarse 
laughter, containing many terms of shamelessness ; 
and the author 10 who depicted Achilles tender with 
love does not suffer for having weakened by his verses 
deeds of valour. Aristides connected the vices of 
Miletus with himself, yet Aristides was not driven 
from his own city. Neither Eubius, who described 
the destruction of the mother's seed, the composer 
of a foul tale, nor he u who recently wrote the 
Sybaritica, were exiled, nor those who have not 
concealed their own erotic adventures. And those 
things exist among the memorials of learned men 
and through the gifts of our leaders have become 
public property open to all. 12 

421 And I need not defend myself with foreign 
arms only, for Roman books also contain much that 
is frivolous. Though Ennius lent his lips to the 
serious strains of war Ennius mighty in genius, rude 
in art though Lucretius sets forth the causes of 
scorching flame and prophesies the destruction of 

10 Unknown. The theme was probably Achilles' love for 

11 Hemitheon. 

12 i.e. such compositions may be found in the public 



sic sua lascivo cantata est saepe Catullo 

femina, cui falsum Lesbia nomen erat ; 
nee contentus ea, multos vulgavit amores, 
430 in quibus ipse suum fassus adulterium est. 
par fuit exigui similisque licentia Calvi, 

detexit variis qui sua furta l modis. 
quid referam Ticidae, quid Memmi carmen, apud 


rebus adest nomen nominibusque pudor ? 
435 Cinna quoque his comes est, Cinnaque procacior 


et leve Cornifici parque Catonis opus, 
et quorum libris modo dissimulata Perillae, 2 
nomine, nunc legitur dicta, Metelle, tuo. 
is quoque, Phasiacas Argon qui duxit in undas, 
440 non potuit Veneris furta tacere suae. 

nee minus Hortensi, nee sunt minus improba Servi 

carmina. quis dubitet nomina lanta sequi ? 
vertit Aristiden Sisenna, nee obfuit illi 

historiae turpis inseruisse iocos. 
445 non fuit opprobrio celebrasse Lycorida Gallo, 

sed linguam nimio non tenuisse mero. 
credere iuranti durum putat esse Tibullus, 

sic etiam de se quod neget ilia viro. 
fallere custodes idem 3 docuisse fatetur, 
450 seque sua miserum nunc ait arte premi. 

saepe, velut gemmam dominae signumve probaret, 
per causam meminit se tetigisse manum ; 

1 facta a per illos : Perillae r 

8 custodem tandem (vel demum) corr. Francius 

1 One of these was Ticidas, cf. Apuleius, Apol. 10. 
2 Sec Index s.v. Perilla. 


TRISTIA, II. 427-452 

three elements, yet wanton Catullus sang oft of her 
who was falsely called Lesbia, and not content with 
her he noised abroad many other loves in which he 
admitted his own intrigues. Equal in degree and 
of the same kind was the licence of diminutive 
Calvus, who revealed his own love adventures in 
various metres. Why allude to the verse of Ticidas 
or of Memmius, in whom things are named with 
names devoid of shame ? With them Cinna too 
belongs and Anser, more wanton than Cinna, and the 
light poems of Cornificius and of Cato, and those * in 
whose books she who was but recently hidden be- 
neath the name of Perilla 2 is now found called after 
thy name, Metellus. He, 3 too, who guided the 
Argo to the waters of Phasis, could not keep silent 
about his own adventures in love. Hortensius' 
verses and those of Servius are not less wanton. 
Who would hesitate to imitate these mighty names ? 
Sisenna translated Aristides and was not harmed for 
weaving in the tale coarse jests. It was no reproach 
to Gallus that he gave fame to Lycoris, but that 
from too much wine he did not restrain his tongue. 
Tibullus 4 thinks it hard to believe his lady under 
oath because she makes the same denials about 
himself to her lord. He admits, too, teaching her 
how to deceive her guard, saying that he is now in 
his wretchedness overcome by his own ruse. Often 
on the pretext of trying the gem and seal of his 
mistress he recalls that he touched her Ijand ; he 

8 Varro of A tax, who wrote an Argonautica. 

4 In this passage (through v. 460) Ovid paraphrases parts 
of Tibull. i. 5 and i. 6 in which the poet becomes the victim 
at the hands of his faithless Delia of the very deceits he had 
taught her. 



utque refert, digitis saepe est nutuque locutus, 

et tacitam mensae duxit in orbe notam ; 
455 et quibus e sucis abeat de corpore livor, 

impresso fieri qui solet ore, docet : 
denique ab incauto nimium petit ille marito, 

se quoque uti servet, peccet ut ilia minus, 
scit, cui latretur, cum solus obambulet, ipsas l 
460 cur 2 totiens clausas excreet ante fores, 
multaque dat furti talis praecepta docetquc 

qua nuptae possint fallere ab arte viros. 
non fuit hoc illi fraudi, legiturque Tibullus 

et placet, et iam te principe notus erat. 
465 invenies eadem blandi praecepta Properti : 

destrictus minima nee tamen ille nota est. 
his ego successi, quoniam praestantia candor 

nomina vivorum dissimulare iubet. 
non timui, fateor, ne, qua tot iere carinae, 
470 naufraga servatis omnibus una foret. 

sunt aliis scriptae, quibus alea luditur, artes : 

hoc est ad nostros non leve crimen avos 
quid valeant tali, quo possis plurima iactu 

1 ipse corr. Owen 2 cui vel qui : cur 5" 

1 Perhaps quis for cur (ALW) : " who is coughing, etc.'* 
Of. Tib. i. 5. 74 f. 

2 i.e. Tibullus was expert in detecting the presence of a 

About 26 B.C. 

4 Lines 4-71-482 are obscure because Ovid, writing for 
readers familiar with the subject, uses technical terms and 
gives only a hint or two to indicate each game. Even 
with the help of the full evidence which has been collected 
in such handbooks as Marquardt's Privatlfben der Romer, 
ii. pp. 855 ff., and Becker-G5ll, Gallus, iii. pp. 455-480, 
these games are far from being fully understood. Moreover 

TRISTIA, II. 453-473 

tells how ofttimes he spoke by means of his fingers 
or by nods and drew inarticulate marks upon the 
table's round ; and he teaches what lotions cause to 
vanish from the body the bruises which are often 
caused by the mouth's imprint : at last he prays her 
all too careless partner to watch him also that so 
her sins may be less frequent. He knows who 
causes the barking, as a man strolls alone before 
the house, why 1 there is so much coughing just 
before the closed door. 2 He gives teachings of 
many sorts for such an intrigue, showing brides by 
what arts ladies can deceive their lords. This did not 
injure him, for Tibullus is still read with favour ; he 
was famous when thou wert first called prince. 3 

465 Thou wilt find the same teachings in alluring 
Propertius ; yet not the least shame has touched 
him. I was their successor, for generosity bids me 
withhold the names of prominent living men. I 
feared not, I admit, that where so many barks plied, 
one only would be wrecked while all the rest were 

471 Others have written of the arts of playing at 
dice 4 this was no light sin in the eyes of our 
ancestors what is the value of the tali? with what 

the text is not certain in vv. 474, 479. I have appended notes 
based on such information as we have. 

6 Roman dice were of two sorts : the tali, made from 
bones of small animals and other materials, with four long 
faces, two of which were broad (numbered 3, 4), two narrow 
(1, 6); and the tesserae, cubical and marked in the same 
way as our dice. The highest throw with the tali was the 
Venus (1, 3, 4, 6), the lowest the Canis (four aces.) Three 
(or two) tesserae, were usually employed, but we have no 
trustworthy information concerning the highest and lowest 



figere, 1 damnosos effugiasque canes ; 
475 tessera quos habeat numeros, distante vocato 
mittere quo deceat, quo dare missa modo ; 
discolor ut recto grassetur limite miles, 

cum medius gemino calculus hoste perit, 
ut bellare 2 sequens 3 sciat et revocare priorem, 
480 nee tuto fugiens incomitatus eat ; 

parva sit ut ternis 4 instructa tabella lapillis, 

in qua vicisse est continuasse suos ; 
quique alii lusus neque enim nunc persequar 

perdere, rein caram, tempora nostra solent. 

1 fingere 

2 mare (vel mage vel male) velle c.orr. Vogel 3 sequi 
4 sed uternis (vel internis vel interius) corr. Ehwald 

1 This probably refers to the game called ir\t<TTofto\lv8a 
(cf. plurlma iactu and valeanl) in which the highest throw 
depended on the total number of units, cf. Pollux, ix. 95 and 
117. Figere (fingere?) is a technical term not occurring 

2 Numeros seems to refer, not to the numbers on the dice, 
but to the significance of these numbers in the game the 
44 count." 

8 In 475-476 some scholars (e.g. Goll, Gallus, p. 475) 
find a reference to the game called duodecim scripta, which 
was in some respects like backgammon. It was played 
on a board with 12 lines (duodecim scripta) with 15 pieces 
on a side which were moved forwards and backwards accord- 
ing to the throws of the dice. But it is more probable that 
this couplet (and also Ars amat. iii. 355-356) refer to a game 
in which there were several aides or contestants. Each 
player had to decide at the throw of the dice which side or 
player to 44 join" (subire), which to '* challenge (=vocare, 
provocare), cf. Brandt on Ars amat. 353 f., 205. As in 
duod. script, the moves were conditioned by the throws 


TRISTIA, II. 474-484 

throw one can make the highest point, 1 avoiding 
the ruinous dogs ; how the tessera is counted, 2 and 
when the opponent is challenged, how it is fitting 
to throw, how to move according to the throws ; 3 
how the variegated soldier steals to the attack along 
the straight path when the piece between two 
enemies is lost, and how he understands warfare by 
pursuit and how to recall the man before him and 
to retreat in safety not without escort ; 4 how a 
small board is provided with three men on a side 
and victory lies in keeping one's men abreast ; 5 
and the other games I will not now describe them 
all which are wont to waste that precious thing, 
our time. 

(dare mlssa). I take distante vocato, a phrase which has 
given rise to many conjectures, as referring to the "challeng- 
ing " of an adversary or side. 

4 Vv. 477-480 refer to the ludus latrunculorum, a game 
in some respects resembling chess but on the whole more 
like draughts. It was played with 30 pieces on each side 
on a board marked in squares. At least two kinds of 
pieces can be distinguished: latrones (bdlatores, milites?), 
*| officers," and others called collectively mandra, "herd," 
" drove," i.e. " pawns " (?). Some scholars consider the 
milites to have been diiferent from the latrones. The 
pieces or men were white, black, or (more commonly in the 
case of the latrones) variegated. Some (the latrones ?) had 
greater freedom of movement (vagi) than others (ordinarii) 
but the only moves definitely known were straight forward 
and backward. Some pieces could be checkmated and 
these were then called inciti, and men could be " taken " 
by being caught between two opponents. It was important 
to advance men in pairs so as to support each other. 

5 This game seems to have resembled a game of draughts 
played with few men. It is mentioned also in Ars amat. iii. 
365 f. and Isidor. Orig. xviii. 64. In the German Miihlespiel 
(a sort of draughts) the detail of keeping three men close 
together in a line is also present. 



485 ecce canit formas alius iactusque pilarum, 

hie artem nandi praecipit, ille trochi. 
composita est aliis fucandi cura coloris ; 

hie epulis leges hospitioque dedit ; 
alter humum, de qua fingantur pocula, monstrat, 
490 quaeque, docet, liquido testa sit apta mero. 
talia luduntur fumoso mense Decembri, 

quae damno nulli compos uisse fuit. 
his ego deceptus non tristia carmina feci, 

sed tristis nostros poena secuta iocos. 
495 denique nee video tot de scribentibus unum, 
quern sua perdiderit Musa ; repertus ego. 
quid, si scripsissem mimos obscena iocantes, 
qui semper vetiti l crimen amoris habent, 
in quibus assidue cultus procedit adulter, 
500 verbaque dat stulto callida nupta viro ? 
nubilis hos virgo matronaque virque puerque 
spectat, et ex magna parte senatus adest. 
nee satis incestis temerari vocibus aures ; 
adsuescunt oculi multa pudenda pati : 
505 cumque fefellit amans aliqua novitate maritum, 

plauditur et magno palma favore datur ; 
quodque 2 minus prodest, scaena 3 est lucrosa poetae, 

tantaque non parvo crimina praetor emit, 
inspice ludorum sumptus, Auguste, tuorum : 
610 empta tibi magno talia multa leges. 

haec tu spectasti spectandaque saepe dedisti 
maiestas adeo comis ubique tua est 

1 victi vel iunctum : vetiti r 
2 quoque 3 poena : scaena Heumann 

1 The officials in charge of the games (aediles, praetors) 
paid most of the expenses. 


TRISTIA, II. 485-512 

485 See, another tells in verse of the various forms of 
balls and the way they are thrown ; this one instructs 
in the art of swimming, that in the art of the hoop. 
Others have composed works on tinting the com- 
plexion, another has laid down rules for feasts and 
entertaining ; still another describes the clay from 
which bowls are fashioned, teaching what jar is 
adapted to the clear wine. Such playful verses as 
these are written in smoky December, but nobody 
has been ruined for composing them. Beguiled by 
such as these I wrote verse lacking in seriousness, 
but a serious penalty has befallen my jests. In 
fine, though so many have written, I see not one 
who has been ruined by his own muse ; I am the 
one who has been sought out. 

497 What if I had written foul -jesting mimes 
which always contain the sin of forbidden love, in 
which constantly a well-dressed adulterer appears 
and the artful wife fools her stupid husband ? These 
are viewed by the marriageable maiden, the wife, 
the husband, and the child ; even the senate in 
large part is present. Nor is it enough that the 
ear is outraged with impure words ; the eyes grow 
accustomed to many shameful sights, and when 
the lover has deceived the husband by some novel 
trick, there is applause and he is presented amid 
great favour with the palm. Because the stage is 
not moral, it is profitable to the poet, and these great 
immoralities are bought at no small price by the 
praetor. 1 Run over the expenses of thine own 
games, Augustus, and thou wilt read of many things 
of this sort that cost thee dear. These thou hast 
thyself viewed and oft presented to the view of 
others so benign is thy majesty everywhere 



luminibusque tuis, totus quibus utitur orbis, 

scaenica vidisti lentus adulteria. 
615 scribere si fas est imitantes turpia mimos, 

materiae minor est debita poena meae. 
an genus hoc script! faciunt sua pulpita tutum, 

quodque licet, mimis scaena licere dedit ? 
et mea sunt populo saltata poemata saepe, 
520 saepe oculos etiam detinuere tuos. 

scilicet in domibus nostris l ut prisca virorum 

artificis fulgent corpora picta manu, 
sic quae concubitus varios venerisque figuras 

exprimat, est aliquo parva tabella loco. 
525 utque sedet vultu fassus Telamonius iram, 

inque oculis facinus barbara mater habet, 
sic madidos siccat digitis Venus uda capillos, 

et modo maternis tecta videtur aquis. 
bella sonant alii telis instructa cruentis, 
530 parsque tui generis, pars tua facta canunt. 
invida me spatio natura coercuit arto, 

ingenio vires exiguasque dedit. 
et tamen ille tuae felix Aeneidos auctor 

contulit in Tyrios arma virumque toros, 
535 nee legitur pars ulla magis de corpore toto, 

quam non legitimo foedere iunctus amor. 
Phyllidis hie idem teneraeque Amaryllidis ignes 

bucolicis iuvenis luserat ante modis. 
nos quoque iam pridem scripto peccavimus isto : 
540 supplicium patitur non nova culpa novum ; 
carminaque edideram, cum te delicta notantem 

praeterii totiens inreprehensus 2 eques. 

1 vestris corr. r 2 inrequietus 

1 Ajax. 2 Medea. 

a Apelles' famous picture of Venus rising from the sea. 


TRISTIA, II. 513-542 

and with thine eyes, by which the whole world 
profits, thou hast gazed undisturbed at these adul- 
teries of the stage. If 'tis right to compose mimes 
that copy vice, to my themes a smaller penalty is 

517 Can it be that this type of writing is rendered 
safe by the stage to which it belongs that the licence 
of the mimes has been granted by the theatre ? 
My poems too have often been presented to the 
people with dancing, often they have even beguiled 
thine own eyes. Surely in our houses, even as figures 
of old heroes shine, painted by an artist's hand, so 
in some place a small tablet depicts the varying unions 
and forms of love ; there sits not only the Tela- 
monian l with features confessing wrath and the 
barbarian mother 2 with crime in her eyes, but Venus 
as well, wringing her damp hair with her hands and 
seeming barely covered by her maternal waves. 3 
Some sing of the roar of war and its bloody weapons, 
some of the deeds of thy race, and some of thine 
own. As for me grudging nature has confined me 
within a narrow space, granting me but meagre 
powers. And yet the blessed author of thy Aeneid 
brought his " arms and the man " to a Tyrian couch, 
and no part of the whole work is more read than that 
union of illicit love. The same man had written as 
a youth playful verse of the passion of Phyllis and 
tender Amaryllis all in pastoral strains. 4 Long ago 
I too sinned in that style of composition thus a fault 
not new is suffering a new penalty and I had pub- 
lished verse when thou wert censuring our sins and 
I passed thee so many times, a knight uncriticized. 6 

4 The Eclogues. 6 Cf. v. 90. 



ergo quae iuvenis mihi non nocitura putavi 

scripta parum prudens, nunc nocuere seni. 
545 sera redundavit veteris vindicta libelli, 

distat et a merit! tempore poena sui. 
ne tamen omne meum credas opus esse remissum, 

saepe dedi nostrae grandia vela rati. 
sex ego Fastorum scrips! totidemque libellos, 
550 cumque stio finem mense volumen habet, 
idque tuo nuper scriptum sub nomine, Caesar, 

et tibi sacratum sors mea rupit opus ; 
et dedimus tragicis scriptum regale cothurnis, 

quaeque gravis debet verba cothurnus habet ; 
555 dictaque sunt nobis, quamvis manus ultima coeptis 

defuit, in facies corpora versa novas, 
atque utinam revoces animum paulisper ab ira, 

et vacuo iubeas hinc tibi pauca legi, 
pauca, quibus prima surgens ab origine mundi 
560 in tua deduxi tempora, Caesar, opus ! 

aspicies, quantum dederis mihi pectoris ipse, 

quoque favore animi teque tuosque canam. 
non ego mordaci destrinxi carmine quemquam. 

nee meus ullius crimina versus habet. 
565 candidus a salibus suffusis felle refugi : 

ntilla venenato littera mixta ioco est. 
inter tot populi, tot scriptis, milia nostri, 

quern mea Calliope laeserit, unus ero. 
non igitur nostris ullum gaudere Quiritem 
570 auguror, at multos indoluisse malis ; 

nee mihi credibile est, quemquam insultasse iacenti 

gratia candor! si qua relata meo est. 

1 The extant edition of the Fasti has only six books, dedi- 
cated to German icus, and there is no good evidence that 
Ovid wrote more. Those who translate sex . . . totidemque 
" twelve " assume that Ovid wrote twelve books. 

* The Medea, a tragedy, not extant. 

TRISTIA, II. 543-572 

Thus the writings which in my youth all thought- 
less I supposed would harm me not, have harmed 
me now that I am old. Late and overfull is the 
vengeance for that early book, distant is the penalty 
from the time of the sin. 

647 Yet think not all my work trivial ; oft have I 
set grand sails upon my bark. Six of the Fasti I have 
written in six books each ending with its own month. 
This work did I recently compose, Caesar, under thy 
name, dedicated to thee, 1 but my fate has broken it 
off. And I wrote a poem of kings for the tragic buskin, 
having the style which the serious buskin demands. 2 
I sang also, though my attempt lacked the final 
touch, of bodies changed into new forms. 3 Would 
that thou mightest recall thy temper awhile from 
wrath and bid a few lines of this be read to thee 
when thou art at leisure, the few lines 4 in which 
after beginning with the earliest origin of the world 
I have brought the work to thy times, Caesar ! Thou 
wilt see how much heart thou hast thyself given 
me, with what warmth I sing of thee and thine. 
1 have never injured anybody with a mordant 
poem, my verse contains charges against nobody. 
Ingenuous I have shunned wit steeped in gall 
not a letter of mine is dipped in poisoned jest. 
Amid all the myriads of our people, many as are 
my writings, I shall be the only one whom my own 
Calliope has injured. No citizen then, 1 feel sure, 
rejoices in my woes, but many grieve. Nor can I 
believe that anyone has mocked my fall, if any 
indulgence has been granted to my open heart. 

8 The Metamorphoses. 

4 Cf. Mftam. xv. 745-870, where Julius Caesai arid 
Augustus are praised. 

H 97 


his, precor, atque aliis possint tua numina flecti, 

o pater, o patriae cura salusque tuae ! 
675 non ut in Ausoniam redeam, nisi forsitan olim, 

cum longo poenae tempore victus eris ; 
tutius exilium pauloque quietius oro, 
ut par delicto sit mea poena suo. 


TRISTIA, II. 573-578 

May this, I pray, and other things have power to 
bend thy will, O father, O protector and salvation 
of thy native land : not that I may return to Ausonia, 
unless perchance some day thou shalt be overborne 
by the length of my punishment ; I only beg a safer, 
a more peaceful place of exile, slight though the 
change be, that the punishment may match my 




" Missus in hanc venio timide liber exulis urbem : 

da placidam fesso, lector amice, manum ; 
neve reformida, ne sim tibi forte pudori : 

nullus in hac charta versus amare docet. 
5 haec domini fortuna mei est, ut debeat illam 

infelix nullis dissimulare iocis. 
id quoque, quod viridi quondam male lusit in aevo, 

heu nimium sero damnat et odit opus ! 
inspice quid portem : nihil hie nisi triste videbis, 
10 carmine temporibus conveniente suis. 
clauda quod alter no subsidunt carmina versu, 

vel pedis hoc ratio, vel via longa facit ; 
quod neque sum cedro flavus l nee pumice levis, 

erubui domino cultior esse meo ; 
15 littera sufFusas quod habet maculosa lituras, 

laesit opus lacrimis ipse poeta suum. 
siqua videbuntur casu non dicta Latine, 

in qua scribebat, barbara terra fuit. 
dicite, lectores, si non grave, qua sit eundum, 
20 quasque petam sedes hospes in urbe liber/' 
1 fulvus 

1 The Are amatoria. 

8 The elegiac couplet is often spoken of as ** lame " because 
of the unequal length of the verses. 


" Though sent to this city I come in fear, an 
exile's book. Stretch forth a kindly hand to me 
in my weariness, friendly reader, and fear not that 
I may perchance bring shame upon you ; not a 
line on this paper teaches love. Such is my master's 
fate that the wretched man ought not to conceal it 
with any jests. Even that work l which once was his 
ill-starred amusement in the green of youth, too 
late, alas ! he condemns and hates. Examine what 
I bring : you will see nothing here except sadness, 
and the verse befits its own state. If the lame 
couplets halt in alternate verses, 'tis due to the 
metre's nature 2 or to the length of the journey ; 
if I am not golden with oil of cedar nor smoothed 
with the pumice, 'tis because I blushed to be better 
dressed than my master ; if the letters are spotted 
and blurred with erasures, 'tis because the poet 
with tears has injured his own work. If any ex- 
pressions perchance shall seem not Latin, the land 
wherein he wrote was a barbarian land. *Tell me, 
readers, if it is not a trouble, whither I ought to 
go, what abode I, a book from foreign lands, should 
seek in the city." 



haec ubi sum furtim lingua titubante locutus, 

qui mihi monstraret, vix fuit unus, iter. 
" di tibi dent, nostro quod non tribuere poetae, 

molliter in patria vivere posse tua. 
25 due age ! namque sequar, quamvis terraque marique 

longinquo referam lassus ab orbe pedem." 
paruit, et ducens " haec sunt fora Caesaris," inquit, 

" haec est a sacris quae via nomen habet, 
hie locus est Vestae, qui Pallada servat et ignem, 
30 haec fuit antiqui regia parva Numae." 

inde petens dextram " porta est " ait " ista Palati, 
hie Stator, hoc primum condita Roma loco est." 
singula dum miror, video fulgentibus armis 

conspicuos postes tectaque digna deo. 
35 " et lovis haec " dixi " domus est ? " quod ut esse 


augurium menti querna corona dabat. 
cuius ut accepi dominum, " non fallimur," inquam, 

" et magni verum est hanc lovis esse domum. 
cur tamen opposita 1 velatur ianua lauro, 
40 cingit et augustas arbor opaca comas ? 

num quia perpetuos meruit domus ista triumphos, 

an quia Leucadio semper amata deo est ? 
ipsane quod festa est, an quod facit omnia festa ? 
quam tribuit terris, pacis an ista nota est ? 
1 apposita 

1 The Sacred Way. 

2 The temple of Vesta contained the Palladium (image 
of Pallas) which fell from heaven at Troy. 

8 Jupiter Stator. 

4 The Mken wreath was given to Augustus as saviour of 
the citizens, but the oak was also sacred to Jove. 

6 i.e. of the oak. The laurels threw their foliage about 
the oaken wreath. 

6 Augustus' house was (by a decree of the senate) kept 

TRISTIA, III. i. 21-44 

21 When thus I had spoken timidly, with hesitant 
tongue, I found with difficulty just one to show me 
the way. 

23 " May the gods grant you what they have not 
vouchsafed our poet, the power to live at ease in 
your native land come, lead me ; I will follow, 
though by land and sea I come in weariness from a 
distant world.'* 

27 He obeyed, and as he guided me, said, " This 
is Caesar's forum ; this is the street named from 
the sacred rites. 1 This is the place of Vesta guard- 
ing Pallas 2 and the fire, here was once the tiny 
palace of ancient Numa. Then turning to the 
right, " That," he said, " is the gate of the Palatium. 
Here is Stator 3 ; on this spot first was Rome 
founded." While I was marvelling at one thing 
after another, I beheld doorposts marked out from 
others by gleaming arms and a dwelling worthy 
of a god ! 

36 " Is this also Jove's abode," I said, and for 
such thought an oaken wreath 4 gave to my mind 
the augury. And when I learned its master, I 
said, " No error is mine ; it is true that this is the 
home of mighty Jove. But why is the door screened 
by the laurels before it, their dark foliage surround- 
ing the august tresses 5 ? Can it be because that 
home has deserved unending triumph or because 
it has always been loved by the Leucadian 6 god ? 
Is it because the house itself is full of joy or because 
it fills all things with joy ? Is it a mark of that 
peace which it has given to the world ? And as 

continually adorned with oak and laurel, triumphal insignia. 
His victory at Actium occurred near the temple of Leucadian 
Apollo and he honoured Apollo above all other gods. 



45 utque viret semper laurus nee fronde caduca 

carpitur, aeternum sic habet ilia decus ? 
causa superpositae scripto est testata coronae : 

servatos cives indicat huius ope. 
adice servatis unum, pater optime, civem, 
50 qui procul extreme pulsus in orbe latet, 
in quo poenarum, quas se meruisse fatetur, 
non facinus causam, sed suus error habet. 
me miserum ! vereorque locum vereorque potentem, 

et quatitur trepido littera nostra metu. 
55 aspicis exsangui chartam pallere colore ? 

aspicis alternos intremuisse pedes ? 
quandocumque, precor, nostro placere parent! 

isdem et l sub dominis aspiciare domus ! " 
inde tenore pari gradibus sublimia celsis 
60 ducor ad intonsi Candida templa dei, 
signa peregrinis ubi sunt alterna columnis, 

Belides et stricto barbarus ense pater, 
quaeque viri docto veteres cepere novique 

pectore, lecturis inspicienda patent. 
65 quaerebam fratres, exceptis scilicet illis, 
quos suus optaret non genuisse pater, 
quaerentem frustra custos e sedibus illis 

praepositus sancto iussit abire loco, 
altera templa peto, vicino iuncta theatro : 
70 haec quoque erant pedibus non adeunda meis. 

1 et om. codd. add. Itali 

1 i.e. Augustus and his family. 

2 In the portico of the temple of Apollo on the Palatine 
(built by Augustus) were the figures of Danaus and his 

3 Augustus had established a library in the temple of 

4 The other works of Ovid. 


TRISTIA, III. i. 45-70 

the laurel is ever green with no withering leaves 
to be plucked away, so does that house possess an 
eternal glory ? 

47 The reason for the crowning wreath is shown 
by an inscription : it declares that by his aid citizens 
have been saved. Add, O best of fathers, to those 
whom thou hast saved one citizen who far on the 
world's edge lies in forgotten exile, the cause of 
whose punishment, which he admits that he has 
deserved, is not a deed, but his own mistake. 
Wretched me ! I fear the spot, I fear the man of 
power, my script wavers with shuddering dread. 
See you my paper pale with bloodless colour ? Sec 
you each alternate foot tremble ? Sometime, I 
pray, mayst thou, O palace, be reconciled with him 
who fathered me, and may it be his lot to behold 
thee under the same masters 1 ! " 

59 Then with even pace up the lofty steps I was 
conducted to the shining temple of the unshorn 
god, where alternating with the columns of foreign 
marble stand the figures of the Belids, 2 the barbarian 
father with a drawn sword, and all those things 
which the men of old or of modern times conceived 
in their learned souls are free for the inspection 
of those who would read. 3 I was seeking my 
brothers, 4 save those indeed whom their father 
would he had never begot, and as I sought to no 
purpose, from that abode the guard who presides 
over the holy place commanded me to depart. 5 
A second temple I approached, one close to a 
theatre : 6 this too might not be visited by my feet. 

6 Ovid's works had been placed under the ban, cf. v. 79. 
6 Augustus had founded another library in the porticus 
Octavia, near the theatre of Marcellus. 



nee me, quae doctis patuerunt prima libellis, 

atria Libertas tangere passa sua est. 
in genus auctoris miseri fortuna redundat, 
et patimur nati, quam tulit ipse, fugam. 
75 forsitan et nobis olim minus asper et illi 

evictus longo tempore Caesar erit. 
di, precor, atque adeo neque enim mihi turba 

roganda est 

Caesar, ades voto, maxime dive, meo ! 
interea, quoniam static mihi publica clausa est, 
80 private liceat delituisse loco. 

vos quoque, si fas est, confusa pudore repulsae 
sumite plebeiae carmina nostra manus. 


Ergo erat in fatis Scythiam quoque visere nostris, 

quaeque Lycaonio terra sub axe iacet ; 
nee vos, Pierides, nee stirps Letoia, vestro 

docta sacerdoti turba tulistis opem. 
5 nee mihi, quod lusi vero 1 sine crimine, prodest, 

quodque magis vita Musa iocata 2 mea est, 
plurima sed pelago terraque pericula passum 

ustus ab assiduo frigore Pontus habet. 
quique fugax rerum securaque in otia natus, 
10 mollis et inpatiens ante laboris eram, 

ultima nunc patior, nee me mare portubus orbum 

perdere, diversae nee potuere viae ; 
suffecitque 3 malis animus ; nam corpus ab illo 

accepit vires vixque ferenda tulit. 

1 vestro a iocosa 8 sufficit atque 

1 The library in the temple of Liberty was founded by 
Asinius Pollio. 


TRISTIA, III. i. Tlii. 14 

Nor did Liberty allow me to touch her halls, the first 
that were opened to learned books. 1 The fate of 
our unfortunate sire overflows upon his offspring, and 
we suffer at our birth the exile which he has borne. 
Perhaps sometime both to us and to him Caesar 
conquered by long years will be less severe. O 
gods, or rather (for it is not meet that I should pray 
to a throng), Caesar, mightiest of gods, hearken to 
my prayer ! In the meanwhile, since a public resting- 
place is closed to me, may it be granted me to lie 
hidden in some private spot. You too, hands of 
the people, receive, if you may, our verses dismayed 
by the shame of their rejection. 


So then 'twas fated for me to visit even Scythia, 
the land that lies beneath the Lycaonian pole ; 
neither you, ye learned throng of Pierians, nor you, 
() son of Leto, have aided your own priest. It 
avails me not that without real guilt I wrote playful 
verse, that my Muse was merrier than my life, 
but many are the perils by land and sea that I 
have undergone, and now the Pontus shrivelled with 
constant frost possesses me. I, who once shunned 
affairs, who was born for a care-free life of ease, who 
was soft and incapable of toil, am now suffering 
extremes ; no harbourless sea, no far journeys by 
land have been able to destroy me. And my spirit 
has proved equal to misfortune ; for my body, 
borrowing strength from that spirit, has endured 
things scarce endurable. 



15 dum tamen et terris dubius iactabar et undis, 

fallebat curas aegraque cord a labor : 
ut via finita est et opus requievit eundi, 
et poenae tellus est mihi tacta meae, 
nil nisi flere libet, nee nostro parcior imber 
20 lumine, de verna quam nive manat aqua. 
Roma domusque subit desideriumque locorum, 

quicquid et amissa restat in urbe mei. 
ei milri, quod l totiens nostri pulsata sepulcri 

ianua, sed nullo tempore aperta fuit ! 
25 cur ego tot gladios fugi totiensque minata 

obruit infelix nulla procella caput ? 
di, quos experior nimium constanter iniquos, 

participes irae quos deus unus habet, 
exstimulate, precor, cessantia fata meique 
30 interitus clausas esse vetate fores ! 


Haec mea si casu miraris epistula quare 

alterius digitis scripta sit, aeger eram. 
aeger in extremis ignoti partibus orbis, 

incertusque meae paene salutis eram. 
6 quern mihi nunc animum dira regione iacenti 

inter Sauromatas esse Getasque putes ? 
nee caelum patior, nee aquis adsuevimus istis, 

terraque nescio quo non placet ipsa modo. 
non domus apta satis, non hie cibus utilis aegro, 
10 nullus, Apollinea qui levet arte malum, 
non qui soletur, non qui labentia tarde 

tempora narrando fallat, amicus adest. 

1 quo 

1 Augustus. 

TRISTIA, III. n. 15 m. 12 

16 Yet while I was being driven through the perils 
of land and wave, there was beguilement for my 
cares and my sick heart in the hardship ; now that 
the way has ended, the toil of journeying is over, 
and I have reached the land of my punishment, I 
care for naught but weeping ; from my eyes comes 
as generous a flood as that which pours from the 
snow in springtime. Rome steals into my thought, 
my home, and the places I long for, and all that 
part of me that is left in the city I have lost. Ah 
me ! that I have knocked so often upon the door 
of my own tomb but it has never opened to me ! 
Why have I escaped so many swords ? Why has 
not one of those gales that threatened so often 
overwhelmed an ill-starred head ? Ye gods, whom 
I have found too steadily cruel, sharers in a wrath 
that one god 1 feels, goad on my laggard fate, I 
beseech ye ; forbid the door of my destruction to 
be closed ! 


If haply you wonder why this letter of mine is 
written by another's fingers, I am ill ill in the 
utmost part of an unknown world, almost in doubt 
of my recovery. What spirit can you think is now 
mine, lying sick in a hideous land among Sauromatae 
and Getae ? The climate I cannot endure, and I 
have not become used to such water, and even the 
land, I know not why, pleases me not. There is 
no house here well suited to a sick man, no beneficial 
food for him, none to relieve, with Apollo's art, 
his pain, no friend to comfort, none to beguile with 
talk the slow-moving hours. Aweary I lie among 



lassus in extremis iaceo populisque locisque, 

et subit adfecto nunc mihi, quicquid abest. 
15 omnia cum subeant, vincis tamen omnia, coniunx, 

et plus in nostro pectore parte tenes. 
te loquor absentem, te vox mea nominat unam ; 

nulla venit sine te nox mihi, nulla dies, 
quin etiam sic me dicunt aliena locutum, 
20 ut foret amenti nomen in ore tuum. 
si iam deficiam, suppressaque lingua palato 

vix instillato restituenda mero, 
nuntiet hue aliquis dominam venisse, resurgam, 

spesque tui nobis causa vigoris erit. 
25 ergo ego sum dubius vitae, tu forsitan istic 

iucundum nostri nescia tempus agis ? 
non agis, adfirmo. liquet hoc, carissima, nobis, 

tempus agi sine me non nisi triste tibi. 
si tamen inplevit mea sors, quos debuit, annos, 
30 et mihi vivendi tarn cito finis adest, 

quantum erat, o magni, morituro parcere, divi, 

ut saltern patria contumularer humo ? 
vel poena in tempus mortis dilata fuisset, 

vel praecepisset mors properata fugam. 
35 integer hanc potui nuper bene reddere lucem ; 

exul ut occiderem, nunc mihi vita data est. 
tarn procul ignotis igitur moriemur in oris, 

et fient ipso tristia fata loco ; 
nee mea consueto languescent corpora lecto, 
40 depositum nee me qui fleat, ullus erit ; 
nee dominae lacrimis in nostra cadentibus ora 

accedent animae tempora parva meae ; 


TRISTIA, III. in. 13-42 

these far-away peoples in this far-away place, and 
thoughts come to me in my weakness of everything 
that is not here. All things steal into my mind, 
yet above all, you, my wife, and you hold more than 
half my heart. You I address though you are 
absent, you alone my voice names ; no night comes 
to me without you, no day. Nay more, they say 
that when I talked strange things, 'twas so that 
your name was on my delirious lips. If I were to 
fail now and my tongue cleaving to my palate were 
scarcely to be revived by drops of wine, 1 let someone 
announce that my lady has come, I'll rise, and the 
hope of you will be the cause of my strength. Am 
I then uncertain of life, but are you perhaps passing 
happy hours yonder forgetful of me ? You are not ; 
I assert it. This is clear to me, dearest, that without 
me you pass no hour that is not sad. 

29 Still if my lot has filled out its destined years 
and if the end of living is come so quickly upon me, 
how small a thing, ye mighty gods, to show mercy 
to one on the eve of death so that at least I might 
have been covered with my native soil ! Would 
that the penalty had been postponed to the hour 
of my death or that quick death had anticipated 
my exile ! In full possession of my rights, as I was 
but recently, I could have been content to give up 
this light of day ; to die an exile for that has life 
now been granted me. So far away, then, on a 
strange shore I shall die, and the very place shall 
render harsh my fate ; neither shall my body grow 
weak upon the familiar couch, nor when I am at 
the point of death shall there be any to weep, nor 
shall my lady's tears fall upon my face adding brief 

1 If the text is right, sit is to be supplied. 



nee mandata dabo, nee cum clamore supremo 

labentes oculos condet arnica manus ; 
45 sed sine funeribus caput hoc, sine honore sepulcri 

indeploratum barbara terra teget ! 
ecquid, ubi audieris, tota turbabere mente, 

et feries pavida pectora fida manu ? 
ecquid, in has frustra tendens tua brachia partes, 
50 clamabis miseri nomen inane viri ? 

parce tamen lacerare genas, nee scinde capillos : 

non tibi nunc primum, lux mea, raptus ero. 
cum patriam amisi, tune me periisse putato : 

et prior et gravior mors fuit ilia mihi. 
55 nunc, si forte potes sed non potes, optima con- 


finitis gaude tot mihi morte malis. 
quod potes, extenua forti mala corde ferendo, 
ad quae iam pridem non rude pectus habes. 
atque utinam pereant animae cum corpore nostrae, 
60 effugiatque avidos pars mihi nulla rogos ! 
nam si morte carens vacua volat altus in aura 

spiritus, et Samii sunt rata dicta senis, 
inter Sarmaticas Romana vagabitur umbras, 

perque feros manes hospita semper erit. 
65 ossa tamen facito parva referantur in urna : 

sic ego non etiam mortuus exul ero. 
non vetat hoc quisquam : fratrem Thebana 


supposuit tumulo rege vetante soror. 
atque ea cum foliis et amomi pulvere misce, 
70 inque suburbano condita pone solo ; 

quosque legat versus oculo properante viator, 
grandibus in tituli marmore caede notis : 

1 Pythagoras. 8 Antigone. 


TRISTIA, III. in. 43-72 

moments to my life ; nor shall I utter parting 
words, nor with a last lament shall a loved hand 
close my fluttering eyes, but without funeral rites, 
without the honour of a tomb, this head shall lie 
unmourned in a barbarian land ! 

47 Will not your whole heart be shaken, when you 
hear this ? Will you not beat with trembling hand 
your loyal breast ? Will you not stretch forth your 
arms all in vain towards this region and call upon 
the empty name of your wretched husband ? Yet 
mar not your cheeks nor tear your hair : not now 
for the first time, light of mine, shall I have been 
torn from you. When I lost my native land, then 
must you think that I perished ; that was my 
earlier and harder death. Now, if perchance you 
have the power (but you have it not, best of wives), 
rejoice that so many misfortunes are ended for me 
by death. For this you have power: lighten by 
bearing them with a brave soul woes in which for a 
long time now your heart is not untrained. 

59 O that our souls might perish with the body 
and that so no part of me might escape the greedy 
pyre ! For if the spirit flits aloft deathless in the 
empty air, and the words of the Samian sage x are 
true, a Roman will wander among Sarmatian shades, 
a stranger forever among barbarians. But my bones 
see that they are carried home in a little urn : 
so shall I not be an exile even in death. This nobody 
forbids : the Theban sister 2 laid her slain brother 
beneath the tomb though the king forbade ; and 
mingling with my bones the leaves and powder of 
the nard lay them to rest in soil close to the city, 
and on the marble carve lines for the wayfarer to 
read with hasty eye, lines in large characters : 

i 113 





hoc satis in titulo est. etenim maiora libelli 

et diuturna magis sunt monimenta mihi, 
quos ego confido, quamvis nocuere, daturos 
80 nomen et auctori tempora longa sao. 
tu tamen extincto feralia munera semper 

deque tuis lacrimis umida serta dato. 
quamvis in cineres corpus mutaverit ignis, 

sentiet officium maesta favilla pium. 
85 scribere plura libet : sed vox mihi fessa loquendo 

dictandi vires siccaque lingua negat. 
accipe supremo dictum mihi forsitan ore, 

quod, tibi qui mittit, non habct ipse, " vale." 


O mihi care quidem semper, sed tempore duro 

cognite, res postquam procubuere nieae, 
usibus edocto si quicquam credis amico, 

vive tibi et longe nomina magna fuge. 
5 vive tibi, quantumque potes praelustria vita : 

saevum praelustri fulmen ab arce venit. 
nam quamquam soli possunt prodesse potcntes, 

non prosint l potius, siquis 2 obesse potest. 
effugit hibernas demissa antemna procellas, 
10 lataque plus parvis vela timoris habent. 

1 prosit vel prodest : prosint scripsi, cf. prosunt 5" 
2 siquis] plurimum 

1 Ovid often plays on the literal meaning of valere, *' to 
be strong," " to be in health." 


TRISTIA, III. m. 73 iv. 10 


This for the inscription ; my books are a greater 
and more enduring memorial. These I have sure 
trust, although they have injured him, will give a 
name and a long enduring life to their author. Yet 
do you ever give to the dead the funeral offerings 
and garlands moist with your own tears. Although 
the fire change my body to ashes, the sorrowing 
dust shall feel the pious care. 

85 More would I write, but my voice worn out with 
speaking and my parched tongue deny the strength 
for dictation. Receive the last word perhaps my 
lips shall utter, a word which is not true 1 of the 
sender : " Farewell ! " 


O thou who wast ever dear to me, but whom I 
really came to know in the cruel hour when my 
fortunes fell in ruins, if thou dost in anything believe 
a friend who has been taught by experience, live 
for thyself, flee afar from great names ! Live 
for thyself, and to thine utmost power shun glittering 
renown ; cruel is the bolt that falls from the glitter- 
ing citadel of renown. For though the powerful 
alone can help, they would rather not help if they 
can harm ! 2 The lowered yard-arm escapes the 
blast of the storm, broad sails bring more fear than 

2 The text of w. 7-8 is corrupt. 



aspicis ut summa cortex levis innatet unda, 

cum grave nexa simul retia mergat onus, 
haec ego si monitor monitus prius ipse fuissem, 

in qua debebam forsitari urbe forem. 
15 dum tecum vixi, dum me levis aura ferebat, 

haec mea per placidas cumba cucurrit aquas, 
qui cadit in piano vix hoc tamen evenit ipsum 

sic cadit, ut tacta surgere possit humo ; 
at miser Elpenor tecto delapsus ab alto 
20 occurrit regi debilis umbra suo. 

quid fuit, ut tutas agitaret Daedalus alas, 

Icarus inmensas nomine signet aquas ? 
nempe quod hie alte, demissius ille volabat ; 

nam pennas ambo non habuere suas. 
25 crede mi hi, bene qui latuit bene vixit, et intra 

fortunam debet quisque manere suam. 
non foret Eumedes orbus, si filius eius 

stultus Achilleos non adam asset equos ; 
nee natum in flamma vidisset, in arbore natas, 
30 cepisset genitor si Phaethonta M crops, 
tu quoque formida nimium sublimia semper, 

propositique, precor, contrahe vela tui. 
nam pede inoffenso spatium decurrere vitae 

dignus es et fato candidiore frui. 
35 quae pro te ut voveam, miti pietate mereris 

haesuraque fide tempus in omne mihi. 
vidi ego te tali vultu mea fata gementem, 

qualem credibile est ore fuisse meo. 
nostra tuas vidi lacrimas super ora cadentes, 
40 tempore quas uno fidaque verba bibi. 

nunc quoque summotum studio defendis amicum, 

et mala vix ulla parte levanda levas. 


TRISTIA, III. iv. 11-42 

small. Thou seest how the light cork floats atop 
the wave when the heavy burden sinks with itself 
the woven nets. If I who warn thee now had once 
myself been warned of this, perchance I should now 
be in that city in which I ought to be. Whilst I 
lived with thee, whilst the light breeze wafted me 
on, this bark of mine sped through calm waters. 
Who falls on level ground though this scarce 
happens so falls that he can rise from the ground 
he has touched, but poor Elpenor who fell from the 
high roof met his king a crippled shade. Why was it 
that Daedalus in safety plied his wings while Icarus 
marks with his name the limitless waves ? Doubt- 
less because Icarus flew high, the other flew lower ; 
for both had wings not their own. Let me tell thee, 
he who hides well his life, lives well ; each man ought 
to remain within his proper position. Eumedes would 
not have been childless, if in folly his son l had not 
had a fancy for the horses of Achilles. Merops would 
not have seen his son in flames nor his daughters 
in the form of trees if he had been a father great 
enough for Phaethon. Do thou also dread constantly 
that which is too lofty and furl the sails of thine 
intent. For thou dost deserve to finish life's race 
with unstumbling foot, enjoying a fairer lot than mine 
35 These my prayers for thee are deserved by thy 
gentle affection and by that loyalty which will 
cling to me for all time. I saw thee lamenting my 
fate with such a look as I think my own face must 
have borne. I saw thy tears fall upon my face 
tears which I drank in with thy words of loyalty. 
Even now thou dost defend with zeal thy banished 
friend, lightening woes that are scarce in any part 
1 Dolon. 



vive sine invidia, mollesque inglorius annos 

exige, amicitias et tibi iunge pares, 
45 Nasonisque tui, quod adhuc non exulat unum, 
nomen ama : Scythicus cetera Pontus habet. 

IV* 1 

Proxima sideribus tellus Erymanthidos Ursae 

me tenet, adstricto terra perusta gelu. 
Bosphoros et Tanais superant Scythiaeque paludes 
50 vix satis et noti nomina pauca loci, 
ulterius nihil est nisi non habitabile frigus. 
heu quam vicina est ultima terra mihi ! 
at longe patria est, longe carissima coniunx, 
quicquid et haec nobis post duo dulce fuit. 
65 sic tamen haec adsunt, ut quae contingere non est 

corpore : sunt animo cuncta videnda meo. 
ante oculos errant domus, urbsque et 2 forma locorum, 

acceduntque suis singula facta locis. 
coniugis ante oculos, sicut praesentis, imago est. 3 
60 ilia meos casus ingravat, ilia levat : 

ingravat hoc, quod abest ; levat hoc, quod praestat 


inpositumque sibi firma tuetur onus, 
vos quoque pectoribus nostris haeretis, amici, 

dicere quos cupio nomine quemque suo. 
65 sed timor ofTicium cautus compescit, et ipsos 

in nostro poni carmine nolle puto. 
ante volebatis, gratique erat instar honoris, 
versibus in nostris nomina vestra legi. 

1 continuant cum prioribus codd. 
8 urbs et corr. $r 8 est om* 

1 The Don. 

TRISTIA, III. iv. 43-68 

to be lightened. Live unenvied, pass years of comfort 
apart from fame, unite to thee friends like thyself, 
and love thy Naso's name the only part of him not 
as yet in exile : all else the Scythian Pontus possesses. 

IV * 

To hearts that cannot vary 
Absence is present. 

47 A land next the stars of the Erymanthian bear 
holds me, a region shrivelled with stiffening cold. 
Beyond are the Bosporus and the Tanais l and the 
Scythian marshes and the scattered names of a 
region hardly known at all. Farther still is nothing 
but a cold that forbids habitation. Alas ! how near 
to me is the margin of the world ! But my father- 
land is far away, far my dearest wife, and all that 
after these two was once sweet to me. Yet even 
so these things are present, though I cannot touch 
them; to my mind all are visible. Before my eyes 
flit my home, the city, the outline of places, the 
events too that happened in each place. Before 
my eyes is the image of my wife as though she were 
present. She makes my woes heavier, she makes 
them lighter heavier by her absence, lighter by 
her gift of love and her steadfast bearing of the 
burden laid upon her. 

63 You too are fast in my heart, my friends, whom 
I am eager to mention each by his own name, but 
cautious fear restrains the duty and you yourselves 
do not wish a place in my poetry, I think. Of old 
you wished it, for it was like a grateful honour to 
have your names read in my verse. Since now 'tis 



quod quoniam est anceps, intra mea pectora quemque 
70 adloquar, et nulli causa timoris ero. 
nee meus indicio latitantes versus amicos 

protrahit. 1 occulte siquis amabat, amet. 
scite tamen, quamvis longe 2 regione remotus 

absim, vos animo semper adesse meo ; 
75 et qua quisque potest, aliqua mala nostra levate, 

fidam proiecto neve negate manum. 
prospera sic maneat vobis fortuna, nee umquam 
contact! simili sorte rogetis idem. 

Usus amicitiae tecum mihi parvus, ut illam 

non aegre posses dissimulare, fuit, 
nee 8 me complexus vinclis propioribus esses 

nave mea vento, forsan, eunte suo. 
5 ut cecidi cunctique metu fugere ruinam, 

versaque amicitiae terga dedere meae, 
ausus es igne lovis percussum tangere corpus 

et deploratae limen adire domus : 
idque recens praestas nee longo cognitus usu, 
10 quod veterum misero vix duo tresve mihi. 
vidi ego confusos vultus visosque notavi, 

osque madens fletu pallidiusque meo, 
et lacrimas cernens in singula verba cadentes 

ore meo lacrimas, auribus ilia bibi ; 
15 brachiaque accepi presso 4 pendentia collo, 

et singultatis oscula mixta sonis. 
sum quoque, care, tuis defensus viribus absens 

scis carum veri nominis esse loco 

1 protrahet * longa corr. Owen ex deflorat. 3 ni : nee r 
* maesto 

1 Perhaps Carus, i.e. carus, " dear.*' See Introd. p. xiv. 

TRISTIA, III. iv. 69 v. 18 

dangerous, within my heart will I address each one 
and be cause of fear to none. My verse gives no 
hint that forces my friends from their concealment. 
In secret let whosoever loved me love me still. Yet 
know that though I am absent and far removed in 
space, you are ever present to my heart. Let each 
of you in what way he can in some way lighten my 
woes, nor refuse an outcast a trusty hand. So may 
good fortune abide for you nor ever may you, visited 
with a like fate, make the same request. 


Slight was my friendly intercourse with you so 
that you could without difficulty have denied it, 
and you would not have embraced me more closely 
perhaps, if my ship had been running before a 
favouring wind. At my fall, when all in fear fled 
my ruin, turning their backs upon friendship with 
me, you dared to touch the corpse Jove's fire had 
blasted and to approach the threshold of a house 
bemoaned. You, a recent friend, not one known 
through long intercourse, give me what scarcely two 
or three of my old friends gave in my wretchedness. 
I myself saw and marked your look of grief, your 
face wet with tears and paler than my own. And 
as I saw your tears falling with every word, drinking 
in with my lips the tears and with my ears the words, 
I felt the clasp of your encircling arms about my 
neck and I was aware of your kisses mingled with 
the sound of your sobbing. I have had your strong 
defence also in my absence, dear one you know 
that " dear one " stands for your real name 1 and 



multaque praeterea manifest! l signa favoris 
20 pectoribus teneo non abitura meis. 

di tibi posse tuos tribuant defendere semper, 

quos in materia prosperiore iuves. 
si tamen interea, quid in his ego perditus oris 

quod te credibile est quaerere quaeris, agam, 
25 spe trahor exigua, quam tu mihi demere noli, 

tristia leniri numina posse dei. 
seu temere expecto, sive id contingere fas est, 

tu mihi, quod cupio, fas, precor, esse proba, 
quaeque tibi linguae est facundia, confer in illud, 
30 ut doceas votum posse valere meum. 

quo quisque est maior, magis est placabilis irae, 

et faciles motus mens generosa capit. 
corpora magnanimo satis est prostrasse leoni, 

pugna suum finem, cum iacet hostis, habet : 
35 at lupus et turpes instant morientibus ursi 

et quaecumque minor nobilitate fera. 
maius apud Troiam forti quid habemus Achille ? 

Dardanii lacrimas non tulit ille senis. 
quae ducis Emathii fuerit dementia, Porus 
40 Dareique docent funeris exequiae. 

neve hominum referam flexas ad mitius iras, 

lunonis gener est qui prius hostis erat. 
denique non possum nullam sperare salutem, 

cum poenae non sit causa cruenta meae. 
45 non mini quaerenti pessumdare cuncta petitum 

Caesareum caput est, quod caput orbis erat ; 
non aliquid dixive, elatave 2 lingua loquendo est, 

lapsaque sunt nimio verba profana mero : 

1 manifesto 

2 dixi velataque (vel violataque vel violentaque) corr. 

1 Priam begging for Hector's body. 

TRISTTA, III. v. 19-48 

many other clear marks of your affection I still 
retain that will not leave my heart. The gods grant 
you always the power to defend your own ! May 
you aid them in more fortunate circumstances 
than mine ! 

23 Yet meanwhile, if you ask and I believe that 
you do ask how in my ruin I fare upon this shore, 
I am led on by the slender hope take it not from 
me that the harsh will of the god can be softened. 
Whether my hope is groundless or whether it is 
vouchsafed me to attain it, do you prove to me, I 
pray, that my great desire is vouchsafed ; whatever 
eloquence you have devote to this to showing that 
my prayer can be accomplished. The greater a 
man is, the more can his wrath be appeased ; a 
noble spirit is capable of kindly impulses. For the 
noble lion 'tis enough to have overthrown his enemy ; 
the fight is at an end when his foe is fallen. But 
the wolf, the ignoble bears harry the dying and 
so with every beast of less nobility. At Troy what 
have we mightier than brave Achilles ? But the 
tears of the aged Dardanian l he could not endure. 
The quality of the Emathian leader's 2 mercy is 
proved by Porus and the funeral ceremony of Darius. 
And not to dwell upon instances of human wrath 
turned to milder ends he is now Juno's son-in- 
law 3 who was once her foe. In fine 'tis possible for 
me to hope for some salvation since the cause of 
my punishment involves no stain of blood ; I never 
sought to wreck everything by assailing the life 
of Caesar, which is the life of the world. I have said 
nothing, divulged nothing in speech, let slip no 
impious words by reason of too much wine : because 

2 Alexander the Great. 8 Hercules, who married Hebe. 



inscia quod crimen viderunt lumina, plector, 
60 peccatumque oculos est habuisse meum. 
non equidem totam possum defendere culpam, 

sed partem nostri criminis error habet. 
spes igitur superest facturum ut molliat ipse 

mutati poenam condicione loci. 
55 hos l utinam nitidi Soils praenuntius ortus 
afferat admisso Lucifer albus equo ! 


Foedus amicitiae nee vis, carissime, nostrae, 

nee, si forte velis, dissimulare potes. 
donee enim licuit, nee te mini carior alter, 

nee tibi me tota iunctior urbe fuit, 
6 isque erat usque adeo populo testatus, ut esset 

paene magis quam tu quarnque ego notus, amor ; 
quique est in caris animi tibi candor amicis 

cognita sunt ipsi, quern colis, ista 2 viro. 
nil ita celabas, ut non ego conscius essem, 
10 pectoribusque dabas multa tegenda meis : 
cuique ego narrabam secreti quicquid habebam, 

excepto quod me perdidit, unus eras. 
id quoque si scisses, salvo fruerere sodali, 

consilioque forem sospes, amice, tuo. 
15 sed mea me in poenam nimirum fata trahebant : 

omne bonae claudunt 3 utilitatis iter. 
sive malum potui tamen hoc vitare cavendo, 

seu ratio fa turn vincere nulla valet, 
tu tamen, o nobis usu iunctissime longo, 
20 pars desiderii maxima paene mei, 

1 hoc corr. Riese 
8 cognitus est ipsi . . . iste * claudent r 

1 Augustus. 

TRISTIA, III. v. 49 vi. 20 

my unwitting eyes beheld a crime, I am punished, 
and 'tis my sin that I possessed eyes. I cannot 
indeed exculpate my fault entirely, but part of it 
consists in error. So have I still some hope that he 
may bring himself to lighten my punishment by 
changing its place. Would that such a dawn as 
this may be brought me by the harbinger of the 
gleaming sun, fair Lucifer, with his swift steed ! 


The bond of our friendship, dear one, you 
neither wish to hide nor, should you perchance so 
wish, have you the power, for while it was possible 
no other was dearer to me than you were, no one 
in the whole city closer to you than I ; that love 
was so thoroughly attested by everybody that it 
was almost better known than you or I, and the 
frankness of your heart towards your dear friends 
all this is known to that very man l whom you love. 
You had no secret such that I was not aware 
of it, and many things you used to entrust to 
the guardianship of my heart. To you alone I 
used to tell all my secrets except that one which 
ruined me. If you had known that also, you 
would now be enjoying the safety of your comrade : 
through your advice I should be safe, my friend. 
But doubtless my fate was dragging me to punish- 
ment ; it closes every road of advantage. Yet 
whether I could have avoided this evil by taking 
care or whether no planning can defeat fate, do 
you, close joined to me by long friendship, you 
almost the largest part of my longing, remember 



sis memor, et siquas fecit tibi gratia vires, 

illas pro nobis experiare, rogo, 
numinis ut laesi fiat mansuetior ira, 

mutatoque minor sit mea poena loco, 
25 idque ita, si nullum scelus est in pectore nostro, 

principi unique mei criminis error habet. 
nee breve nee tutum, quo sint mea, clicere, casu 

lumina funesti conscia facta mali ; 
mensque reformidat, veluti sua vulnera, tempus 
30 illud, et admonitu fit novus ipse pudor, 

et quaecumque adeo possunt afferre pudorem, 

ilia tegi caeca condita nocte decet. 
nil igitur referam nisi me peccasse, sed illo 

praemia peccato nulla petita mihi, 
35 stultitiamque meum crimen debere vocari, 

nomina si facto reddere vera velis. 
quae si non ita sunt, aliurn, quo longius absim, 

quaere ; suburbana est hie mihi terra locus. 


VADE salutatum, subito perarata, Perillam, 

littera, sermonis fida ministra mei. 
aut illam invenies dulci cum matre sedentem, 

aut inter libros Pieridasque suas. 
5 quidquid aget, cum te scierit venisse, relinquct, 

nee mora, quid venias quidve, requiret, agam. 
vivere me dices, sed sic, ut vivere nolim, 

nee mala tarn longa nostra levata mora ; 
et tamen ad Musas, quamvis nocuere, reverti. 
10 aptaque in alternos cogere verba pedes. 

TR1STIA, III. vi. 21 vir 10 

me ; and if favour has given you any powers, I 
beg that you will test them in my behalf to soften 
the wrath of the injured deity and that my punish- 
ment may be lessened by changing its place and 
this only on condition that no crime is in my heart 
but a mistake is responsible for the beginning of 
my sin. Tis not a brief tale or safe to say what 
chance made my eyes witness a baleful evil. My 
mind shrinks in dread from that time, as 'twere 
from its own wounds, and the very thought of it 
renews my shame ; whatever can bring such sense 
of shame should be covered and hidden in the 
darkness of night. Nothing then will I say except 
that I have sinned, but by that sin sought no reward ; 
folly is the proper name for my crime, if you wish 
to give the true title to the deed. If this is untrue, 
then seek a still more distant place for my exile ; 
this place is for me a land close to the city. 1 


Go, greet Perilla, quickly written letter, and be 
the trusty servant of my speech. You will find her 
sitting in the company of her sweet mother or amid 
books and the Pierian maidens she loves. Whatever 
she be doing she will leave it when she knows of 
your coming and ask at once why you come or 
how I fare. Say that I live, but in such wise that I 
would not live ; that my misfortunes have not been 
lightened by the lapse of so long a time, that never- 
theless I am returning to the Muses despite their 
injury, forcing words to fit alternating measures. 

1 i.e. my present place of exile is all too near Rome for 
one who could be guilty of such untruth. 



" tu quoque " die " studiis communibus ecquid 


doctaque non patrio carmina more canis ? 
nam tibi cum fatis mores natura pudicos 

et raras dotes ingeniumque dedit. 
16 hoc ego Pegasidas deduxi primus ad undas, 

ne male fecundae vena periret aquae ; 
primus id aspexi teneris in virginis annis, 

utque pater natae duxque comesque fui. 
ergo si remanent ignes tibi pectoris idem, 
20 sola tuum vates Lesbia vincet opus. 

sed vereor, ne te mea nunc fortuna retardet, 

postque meos casus sit tibi pectus iners. 
dum licuit, tua saepe mihi, tibi nostra legebam ; 

saepe tui iudex, saepe magister eram : 
25 aut ego praebebam factis modo versibus aures, 

aut, ubi cessares, causa ruboris eram. 
forsitan exemplo, quia me laesere libelli, 

tu quoque sis poenae fata l secuta meae. 
pone, Perilla, metum ; tantummodo femina nulla 
30 neve vir a scrip tis discat amare tuis. 
ergo desidiae remove, doctissima, causas, 

inque bonas artes et tua sacra redi. 
ista decens facies longis vitiabitur annis, 
rugaque in antiqua fronte senilis erit, 
35 inicietque manum formae damnosa senectus, 
quae strepitum 2 passu non faciente venit ; 
cumque aliquis dicet ' fuit haec formosa ' dolebis, 

et speculum mendax esse querere tuum. 
sunt tibi opes modicae, cum sis dignissima magnis : 
40 finge sed inmensis censibus esse pares, 

1 facta : fata 5~ * strepitus : strepitum 5" 

1 i.e. Ovid's, See Index s.v. Perilla. 

TRISTIA, HI. vii. 11-40 

Say to her, " Art thou too still devoted to our 
common pursuit of singing learned verse, though not 
in thy father's 1 fashion ? For with thy life nature 
has bestowed upon thee modest ways and a rare 
dower of native wit. This I was the first to guide 
to the stream of Pegasus lest the rill of fertile water 
unhappily be lost. I was the first to discern this in 
the tender years of thy girlhood when, as a father to 
his daughter, I was thy guide and comrade. So if 
the same fire still abides in thy breast, only the 
Lesbian bard 2 will surpass thy work. But I fear 
that my fate may now be trammelling thee, that since 
my disaster thy mind may have become inactive. 
Whilst I could, I used often to read thy verse to 
myself and mine to thee ; often was I thy critic, 
often thy teacher, now lending my ear to the verses 
thou hadst recently composed, now causing thee to 
blush when thou wert idle. Perchance from the 
example of the injury that verse has done me thou 
too mayst have experienced in thought the fate of 
my punishment. Lay aside thy fear, Perilla ; only 
let no woman or any man learn from thy writings 
how to love. 

31 "So put aside the causes of sloth, accomplished 
girl, return to a noble art and thy sacred offerings. 
That fair face will be marred by the long years, the 
wrinkles of age will come in time upon thy brow. 
Ruinous age that comes with noiseless step will lay 
her hand upon thy beauty, and when someone shall 
say, * She once was fair/ thou wilt grieve and com- 
plain that thy mirror lies. Thou hast a modest 
fortune, though full worthy of a great one ; but 
imagine it the equal of boundless riches, still assuredly 
* Sappho. 

K 129 


nempe dat id 1 quodcumque libet fortuna rapitque, 

Irus et est subito, qui modo Croesus erat. 
singula ne referam, nil non mortale tenemus 

pectoris exceptis ingeniique bonis. 
45 en ego, cum caream patria vobisque domoque, 

raptaque sint, adimi quae potuere mihi, 
ingenio tamen ipse meo comitorque fruorque : 

Caesar in hoc potuit iuris habere nihil. 
quilibet hanc saevo vitam mihi finiat ense, 
50 me tamen extincto fama superstes erit, 

dumque suis victrix omnem de montibus orbem 

prospiciet domitum Martia Roma, legar. 
tu quoque, quam studii maneat felicior usus, 

effuge ventures, qua potes, usque rogos ! " 


Nunc ego Triptolemi cuperem consistere curru, 

misit in ignotam qui rude semen humum ; 
nunc ego Medeae vellem frenare dracones, 
quos habuit fugiens arce, Corinthe, tua ; 
6 nunc ego iactandas optarem sumere pennas, 

sive tuas, Perseu, Daedale, sive tuas : 
ut tenera nostris cedente volatibus aura 

aspicerem patriae dulce repente solum, 
desertaeque domus vultus, memoresque sodales, 
10 caraque praecipue coniugis ora meae. 

stulte, quid haec frustra votis puerilibus optas, 

quae non ulla tibi 2 fertque feretque dies ? 
si semel optandum est, Augusti numen adora, 

et, quern sensisti, rite precare deum. 
15 ille tibi pennasque potest currusque volucres 
tradere : det reditum, protinus ales eris. 

1 et: idr * tulit 


TRISTIA, III. vn. 41 vin. 16 

fortune gives and takes away whatever she pleases, 
and he becomes suddenly an Irus who was but now 
a Croesus. In brief we possess nothing that is not 
mortal except the blessings of heart and mind. 
Behold me, deprived of native land, of you and my 
home, reft of all that could be taken from me ; my 
mind is nevertheless my comrade and my joy ; over 
this Caesar could have no right. Let any you will 
end this life with cruel sword, yet when I am dead 
my fame shall survive. As long as Martian Rome 
shall gaze forth victorious from her hills over the 
conquered world, I shall be read. Do thou too 
and may a happier use of thine art await thee 
ever shun what way thou canst the coming pyre ! " 


Now would I crave to stand in the car of Triptole- 
mus, who flung the untried seed on ground that had 
known it not ; now would I bridle the dragons that 
Medea had when she fled thy citadel, O Corinth ; 
now would I pray for wings to ply thine, Perseus, 
or thine, Daedalus that the yielding air might give 
way before my rapid flight and I might on a 
sudden behold the sweet soil of my native land, the 
faces in my lonely home, my loyal friends, and 
foremost of all the dear features of my wife. 

11 Fool ! why pray in vain like a child for such things 
as these things which no day brings you or will 
bring ? If only you must pray, worship Augustus's 
divinity ; petition in due form that god whose might 
you have felt. He has power to grant you feathers 
and winged cars : let him grant return and forthwith 



si precer hoc neque enim possum maiora rogare 

ne mea sint, timeo, vota modesta parum. 
forsitan hoc olim, cum iam satiaverit iram, 
20 turn quoque sollicita mente rogandus erit. 

quod minus inter ea est, instar mini muneris ampli, 

ex his me iubeat quolibet ire locis. 
nee caelum nee aquae faciunt nee terra nee aurae ; 

ei mihi, perpetuus corpora languor habet ! 
25 seu vitiant artus aegrae contagia mentis, 

sive mei causa est in regione mali, 
ut tetigi Pontum, vexant insomnia, vixque 

ossa tegit macies nee iuvat ora cibus ; 
quique per autumnum percussis frigore primo 
30 est color in foliis, quae nova laesit hiems, 
is mea membra tenet, nee viribus adlevor ullis, 

et numquam queruli causa doloris abest. 
nee melius valeo, quam corpore, mente, sed aegra est 

utraque pars aeque binaque damna fero. 
35 haeret et ante oculos veluti spectabile corpus 

astat fortunae forma legenda meae : 
cumque locum moresque hominum cultusque 


cernimus, et, qui sim qui fuerimque, subit, 
tantus amor necis est, querar ut cum Caesaris ira, 
40 quod non offensas vindicet ense suas. 
at, quoniam semel est odio civiliter usus, 
mutato levior sit fuga nostra loco. 


Hie quoque sunt igitur Graiae quis crederet ? 


inter inhumanae nomina barbariae ; 

TRISTIA, III. vm. 17 ix. 2 

you will have wings. Were I to pray for this (and I 
can ask no greater things) I fear my prayer would 
lack restraint. For this perchance sometime, when 
his wrath is sated, I shall have to pray with a heart 
troubled even then. Meanwhile a smaller thing, but 
equal to a generous boon for me let him bid me 
go anywhere from this place. Neither climate nor 
water suit me, nor land nor air ah me ! a constant 
weakness possesses my frame. Whether the con- 
tagion of a sick mind affects my limbs or the cause 
of my ills is this region, since I reached the Pontus, 
I am harassed by sleeplessness, scarce does the lean 
flesh cover my bones, food pleases not my lips ; and 
such a hue as in autumn, when the first chill has 
smitten them, shows on the leaves that young winter 
has marred, overspreads my body ; no strength 
brings relief, and I never lack cause for plaintive 
pain. I am no better in mind than in body ; both 
alike are sick and I suffer double hurt. Clinging and 
standing like a visible body before my eyes is the 
figure of my fate that I must scan ; and when I 
behold the country, the ways, the dress, the language 
of the people, when I remember what I am and what 
I was, I have so great a love of death that I complain 
of Caesar's wrath, because he avenges not his wrongs 
with the sword. But since he has once exercised 
his hatred mildly, let him lighten my exile still 
further by changing its place. 


Here too then there are Grecian cities (who would 
believe it ?) among the names of the wild barbarian 



hue quoque Mileto missi venere coloni, 

inque Getis Graias constituere domos. 
5 sed vetus huic nomen, positaque antiquius urbe, 

constat ab Absyrti caede fuisse loco, 
nam rate, quae cura pugnacis facta Minervae 

per non temptatas prima cucurrit aquas, 
impia desertum fugiens Medea parentern 
10 dicitur his remos applicuisse vadis. 

quern procul ut vidit tumulo speculator ab alto, 
" hospes," ait, " nosco, Colchide, vela, venit." 
dum trepidant Minyae, dum solvitur aggere funis, 

dum sequitur celeres ancora tracta manus, 
15 conscia percussit meritorum pectora Colchis 
ausa atque ausura multa nefanda manu ; 
et, quamquam superest ingens audacia menti, 

pallor in attonitae virginis ore fuit. 
ergo ubi prospexit venientia vela " tenemur, 
20 et pater est aliqua fraude morandus " ait. 

dum quid agat quaerit, dum versat in omnia 


ad fratrem casu lumina flexa tulit. 
cuius ut oblata est praesentia, " vicimus " inquit : 

" hie mihi morte sua causa salutis erit." 
25 protinus ignari nee quicquam tale timentis 

innocuum rigido perforat ense latus, 
atque ita divellit divulsaque membra per agros 

dissipat in multis invenienda locis. 
neu pater ignoret, scopulo proponit in alto 
30 pallentesque manus sanguineumque caput, 

1 The Argo. 

TRISTIA, III. ix. 3-30 

world ; hither also came from Miletus colonists to 
found among the Getae Grecian homes. But the 
ancient name, more ancient than the founding of the 
city, was given to this place, 'tis certain, from the 
murder of Absyrtus. For in the ship l which was 
built under the care of warlike Minerva the first 
to speed through the untried seas wicked Medea 
fleeing her forsaken sire brought to a haven her 
oars, they say, in these waters. Him in the distance 
the lookout on the lofty hill espied and said, " A 
stranger approaches from Colchis ; I recognize the 
sails ! 

13 While the Minyae 2 are all excitement, while the 
cable is loosed from the shore, while the anchor 
is being raised following their nimble hands, the 
Colchian maid conscious of her guilt smote her 
breast with a hand that had dared and was to dare 
many things unspeakable, and though her heart 
still retained its great boldness, there was a pallor of 
dismay upon the girl's face. 

19 And so at the sight of the approaching sails, she 
said, " We are caught ! I must delay my father 
by some trick ! " As she was seeking what to do, 
turning her countenance on all things, she chanced 
to bend her gaze upon her brother. When aware of 
his presence she exclaimed, " The victory is mine ! 
His death shall save me ! " Forthwith while he in 
his ignorance feared no such attack she pierced his 
innocent side with the hard sword. Then she tore him 
limb from limb, scattering the fragments of his body 
throughout the fields so that they must be sought in 
many places. And to apprise her father she placed 
upon a lofty rock the pale hands and gory head. 
* The Argonauts. 



ut genitor luctuque novo tardetur et, artus 
dum legit extinctos, triste moretur ' iter. 

inde Tomis 2 dictus locus hie, quia fertur in illo 
membra soror fratris consecuisse sui. 


Siquis adhuc istic meminit Nasonis adempti, 

et superest sine me nomen in urbe meum, 
suppositum stellis numquam tangentibus aequor 

me sciat in media vivere barbaria. 
5 Sauromatae cingunt, fera gens, Bessique Getaeque. 

quam non ingenio nomina digna meo ! 
dum tamen aura tepet, medio defendimur Histro : 

ille suis liquidus 3 bella repellit aquis. 
at cum tristis hiems squalentia protulit ora, 
10 terraque marmoreo est Candida facta gelu, 
dum prohibet 4 Boreas et nix habitare sub Arcto, 

turn patet has gentes axe tremente premi. 
nix iacet, et iactam ne 5 sol pluviaeque resolvant, 6 

indurat Boreas perpetuamque facit. 
15 ergo ubi delicuit nondum prior, altera venit, 

et solet in multis bima manere locis ; 
tantaque commoti vis est Aquilonis, ut altas 

aequet humo turres tectaque rapta ferat. 
pellibus et sutis arcent mala frigora bracis, 
20 oraque de toto corpore sola patent, 
saepe sonant moti glacie pendente capilli, 

et nitet inducto Candida barba gelu ; 

1 retardet 2 tomus (thomus) rel tomos 

8 liquidis * patet et : prohibet Owen 

6 ne] nee 6 resolvunt corr. Ehwald 


TRISTIA, III. ix. 31 x. 22 

Thus was the sire delayed by his fresh grief, lingering, 
while he gathered those lifeless limbs, on a journey 
of sorrow. 

33 So was this place called Tomis because here, they 
say, the sister cut to pieces her brother's body. 1 


If there be still any there who remembers banished 
Naso, if my name without me still survives in the 
city, let him know that beneath the stars which 
never touch the sea I am living in the midst of the 
barbarian world. About me are the Sauromatae, a 
cruel race, the Bessi, and the Getae, names how un- 
worthy of my talent ! Yet while the warm breezes 
blow we are defended by the interposing Hister ; 
with the flood of his waters he repels wars. But 
when grim winter has thrust forth his squalid face, 
and the earth is marble-white with frost, while Boreas 
and the snow prevent life under the Great Bear, then 
'tis clear that these tribes are hard pressed by the 
shivering pole. The snow lies continuously, and once 
fallen, neither sun nor rains may melt it, for Boreas 
hardens and renders it eternal. So when an earlier 
fall is not yet melted another has come, and in many 
places 'tis wont to remain for two years. So mighty 
is the power of Aquilo, when once he is aroused, that 
he levels high towers to the ground and sweeps away 
buildings. With skins and stitched breeches they 
keep out the evils of the cold ; of the whole body 
only the face is exposed. Often their hair tinkles 
with hanging ice and their beards glisten white with 

1 Ovid derives Tom is (Tomi) from r^w, " to cut." 



nudaque consistunt, forniam servantia testae, 

vina, nee hausta meri, sed data frusta bibunt. 
25 quid loquar, ut vincti concrescant frigore rivi, 

deque lacu fragiles effodiantur aquae ? 
ipse, papyrifero qui non angustior amne 

miscetur vasto multa per ora freto, 
caeruleos ventis latices durantibus, Hister 
30 congelat et tectis in mare serpit aquis ; 

quaque rates ierant, pedibus nuiic itur, et undas 

frigore concretas ungula pulsat equi ; 
perque novos pontes, subter labentibus undis, 

ducunt Sarmatici barbara plaustra boves. 
35 vix equidem credar, sed, cum sint praemia falsi 

nulla, ratam debet testis habere fidem : 
vidimus ingentem glacie consistere pontum, 

lubricaque inmotas testa premebat aquas, 
nee vidisse sat est ; durum calcavimus aequor, 
40 undaque non udo sub pede summa fuit. 
si tibi tale fretum quondam, Leandre, fuisset, 

non foret angustae mors tua crimen aquae, 
turn neque se pandi possunt delphines in auras 

tollere ; conantes dura coercet hierns ; 
45 et quamvis Boreas iactatis insonet alis, 

fluctus in obsesso gurgite nullus erit ; 
inclusaeque gelu stabunt in marmore puppes, 

nee potent rigidas findere remus aquas, 
vidimus in glacie pisces haerere ligatos, 
50 sed pars ex illis turn quoque viva fuit. 
sive igitur nimii Boreae vis saeva marinas, 

sive redundatas flumine cogit aquas, 
protinus aequato siccis Aquilonibus Histro 

invehitur celeri barbarus liostis equo ; 

1 Cf. the tales of serving whisky in the Klondike 
chunks " ! 8 The Nile. 


TRISTIA, III. x. 23-54 

the mantle of frost. Exposed wine stands upright, 
retaining the shape of the jar, and they drink, not 
draughts of wine, but fragments served them ! l 

25 Why tell of brooks frozen fast with the cold and 
how brittle water is dug out of the pool ? The very 
Hister, not narrower than the papyrus-bearing river, 2 
mingling with the vast deep through many mouths, 
freezes as the winds stiffen his dark flood, and winds 
its way into the sea with covered waters. Where ships 
had gone before now men go on foot and the waters 
congealed with cold feel the hoof-beat of the horse. 
Across the new bridge, above the gliding current, are 
drawn by Sarmatian oxen the carts of the barbarians. 
I may scarce hope for credence, but since there is no 
reward for a falsehood, the witness ought to be believed 
I have seen the vast sea stiff with ice, a slippery 
shell holding the water motionless. And seeing is not 
enough; I have trodden the frozen sea, and the surface 
lay beneath an unwetted foot. If thou, Leander, 
hadst once had such a sea, thy death would not have 
been a charge against the narrow waters. At such 
times the curving dolphins cannot launch themselves 
into the air ; if they try, stern winter checks them ; 
and though Boreas may roar and toss his wings, there 
will be no wave on the beleaguered flood. Shut in 
by the cold the ships will stand fast in the marble 
surface nor will any oar be able to cleave the stiffened 
waters. I have seen fish clinging fast bound in the 
ice, yet some even then still lived. 

61 So whether the cruel violence of o'ermighty 
Boreas congeals the waters of the sea or the full waters 
of the river, forthwith when the Hister has been 
levelled by the freezing Aquilo the barbarian enemy 
with his swift horses rides to the attack an enemy 



65 hostis equo pollens longeque volante sagitta 

vicinam late depopulatur humum. 
diffugiunt alii, nullisque tuentibus agros 

incustoditae diripiuntur opes, 
ruris opes parvae, pecus et stridentia plaustra, 
60 et quas divitias incola pauper habet. 

pars agitur vinctis post tergum capta lacertis, 

respiciens frustra rura Laremque suum : 
pars cadit hamatis misere confixa sagittis : 

nam volucri ferro tinctile virus inest. 
65 quae nequeunt secum ferre aut abducere, perdunt, 

et cremat insontes hostica flamma casas. 
tune quoque, cum pax est, trepidant formidine belli, 

nee quisquam presso vomere sulcat humum. 
aut videt aut metuit locus hie, quern non videt, 

hostem ; 
70 cessat iners rigido terra relicta situ. 

non hie pampinea dulcis latet uva sub umbra, 

nee cumulant altos fervida musta lacus. 
poma negat regio, nee haberet Acontius in quo 

scriberet hie dominae verba legenda suae. 
76 aspiceres 1 nudos sine fronde, sine arbore, campos : 

heu loca feliei non adeunda viro ! 
ergo tarn late pateat cum maximus orbis, 
haec est in poenam terra reperta meam ! 


Si quis es, insultes qui casibus, improbe, nostris, 
meque reum dempto fine cruentus agas, 

natus es e scopulis et pastus lacte ferino, 
et dicam silices pectus habere tuum. 

1 aspiceret 

TRISTIA, III. x. 55 xi. 4 

strong in steeds and in far flying arrows and lays 
waste far and wide the neighbouring soil. Some flee, 
and with none to protect their lands their unguarded 
resources are plundered, the small resources of the 
country, flocks and creaking carts all the wealth 
the poor peasant has. Some are driven, with arms 
bound behind them, into captivity, gazing back in 
vain upon their farms and their homes ; some fall 
in agony pierced with barbed shafts, for there is a 
stain of poison upon the winged steel. What they 
cannot carry or lead away they destroy, and the 
hostile flame burns the innocent hovels. Even when 
peace prevails, there is timorous dread of war, nor 
does any man furrow the soil with down-pressed 
share. A foe this region either sees or fears when 
it does not see ; idle lies the soil abandoned in stark 
neglect. Not here, the sweet grape lying hidden in 
the leafy shade nor the frothing must brimming the 
deep vats ! Fruits are denied in this region nor here 
would Acontius have anything on which to write 
the words for his sweetheart l to read. One may 
see naked fields, leafless, treeless a place, alas 1 no 
fortunate man should visit. This then, though the 
great world is so broad, is the land discovered for 
my punishment ! 


Whoever thou art that dost mock, wicked man, 
at my misfortunes, endlessly bringing an indictment 
against me, thirsting for my blood, born art thou of 
crags and fed on the milk of wild beasts, and I will 
assert that thy breast is made of flint. What farther 

1 Cydippe. 



5 quis gradus ulterior, quo se tua porrigat ira, 
restat ? quidve meis cernis abesse mails ? 
barbara me tellus et inhospita h'tora Ponti 
cumque suo Borea Maenalis Ursa videt. 
nulla mihi cum gente fera commercia linguae : 
10 omnia solliciti sunt loca plena metus. 

utque fugax avidis cervus deprensus ab ursis, 

cinctave montanis ut pavet agna lupis, 
sic ego belligeris a gentibus undique saeptus 
terreor, hoste meum paene premente latus. 
15 utque sit exiguum poenae, quod coniuge cara, 

quod patria careo pignoribusque meis : 
ut mala nulla feram nisi nudam Caesaris iram, 

nuda parum nobis Caesaris ira mali est ? 
et tamen est aliquis, qui vulnera cruda retractet, 
20 solvat et in mores ora diserta meos. 
in causa facili cuivis licet esse diserto, 

et minimae vires frangere quassa valent. 
subruere est arces et stantia moenia virtus : 

quamlibet ignavi praecipitata premunt. 
25 non sum ego quod 1 fueram. quid inanem proteris 

umbram ? 

quid cinerem saxis bustaque nostra petis ? 
Hector erat tune cum bello certabat ; at idem 

vinctus ad Haemonios non erat Hector equos. 
me quoque, quern noras olim, non esse memento : 
30 ex illo superant haec simulacra viro. 

quid simulacra, ferox, dictis incessis amaris ? 

parce, precor, Manes sollicitare meos ! 
omnia vera puta mea crimina, nil sit in illis, 

quod magis errorem quam scelus esse putes, 
35 pendimus en profugi satia tua pectora poenas 
exilioque graves exiliique loco. 
1 sum ego qui 

TRISTIA, III. xi. 5-36 

point remains to which thy anger may extend ? 
What dost thou see lacking to my woes ? A bar- 
barous land, the unfriendly shores of Pontus, and the 
Maenalian bear with her companion Boreas behold 
me. No interchange of speech have I with the wild 
people ; all places are charged with anxiety and fear. 
As a timid stag caught by ravenous bears or a lamb 
surrounded by the mountain wolves is stricken with 
terror, so am I in dread, hedged about on all sides by 
warlike tribes, the enemy almost pressing against 
my side. Were it a slight punishment that I am 
deprived of my dear wife, my native land, and my 
loved ones ; were I supporting no ills but the naked 
wrath of Caesar, is the naked wrath of Caesar too 
small an ill ? Yet, despite this, someone there is to 
handle anew my raw wounds, to move eloquent lips 
against my character ! In an easy cause anybody 
may be eloquent ; the slightest strength is enough 
to break what is already shattered. To overthrow 
citadels and upstanding walls is valour ; the worst 
of cowards press hard upon what is already fallen. I 
am not what I was. Why dost thou trample on an 
empty shadow ? Why attack with stones my ashes 
and my tomb ? Hector was alive whilst he fought 
in war, but once bound to the Haemonian steeds 
he was not Hector. I too, whom thou knewest in 
former times, no longer exist, remember ; of that 
man there remains but this wraith. W T hy, cruel man, 
dost thou assail a wraith with bitter words ? Cease, 
I beg, to harass my shade. Consider all my crimes 
real, let there be nothing in them that thou couldst 
think rather a mistake than a crime lo ! a fugitive 
I am paying (let this sate thy heart) a penalty heavy 
through exile and the place of that exile. To a 



carnifici fortuna potest mea flenda videri : 

et tamen est uno iudice mersa parum. 
saevior es tristi Busiride, saevior illo, 
40 qui falsum lento torruit igne bovem, 

quique bovem Sieulo fertur donasse tyranno, 

et dictis artes conciliasse suas : 
44 munere in hoc, rex, est usus, sed imagine maior, 

nee sola est operis forma probanda mei. 
45 aspicis a dextra latus hoc adapertile tauri ? 
hac 1 tibi, quern perdes, coniciendus erit. 
protinus inclusum lentis carbonibus ure : 

mugiet, et veri vox erit ilia bovis. 
pro quibus inventis, ut munus nmnere penses, 
50 da, precor, ingenio praemia digna meo." 

dixerat. at Phalaris " poenae mirande repertor, 

ipse tuum praesens imbue " dixit " opus." 
nee mora, monstratis crudeliter ignibus ustus 

exhibuit geminos ore gemente sonos. 
65 quid mihi cum Siculis inter Scythiamque Getasque ? 

ad te, quisquis is es, nostra querella redit. 
utque sitim nostro possis explere cruore, 

quantaque vis, avido gaudia corde feras, 
tot mala sum fugiens tellure, tot aequore passus. 
60 te quoque ut auditis posse dolere putem. 
crede mihi, si sit nobis collatus Ulixes, 

Neptuni 2 minor est quam lovis ira fuit. 
ergo quicumque es, rescindere crimina noli, 

deque gravi duras vulnere tolle manus ; 
65 utque meae famam tenuent oblivia culpae, 
facta cicatricem ducere nostra sine ; 

1 hie * neptunique corr. r 

1 Perillus. 2 PhalarT^ 
3 i.e. at once the screams of a man and the bellowing of 
a bull. 

TRISTIA, III. xi. 37-66 

hangman my fate might seem pitiful, yet there is 
one judge who thinks it sunk not deep enough ! 

39 Thou art more cruel than harsh Busiris, more 
cruel than he l who heated the artificial bull over a 
slow fire and gave the bull, they say, to the Sicilian 
lord 2 commending his work of art with the words : 
" In this gift, O King, there is profit, greater than 
appears, for not the appearance alone of my work is 
worthy of praise. Seest thou on the right that the 
bull's flank may be opened ? Through this thou must 
thrust whomsoever thou wouldst destroy. Forth- 
with shut him in and roast him over slow-burning 
coals : he will bellow, and that will be the voice of a 
true bull. For this invention pay gift with gift, 
and give me, I pray thee, a reward worthy of my 
genius." Thus he spake. But Phalaris said, " Mar- 
vellous inventor of punishment, dedicate in person 
thine own work ! " At once roasted by the fires to 
which he had himself cruelly pointed the way he 
uttered with groaning lips sounds twofold. 3 

55 What have I, in Scythia among the Getae, to do 
with Sicilians ? To thee, whoever thou art, my 
complaint returns. That thou mayst sate thy thirst 
in my blood and carry as much joy as thou wilt in 
thy greedy heart, I have endured so many woes by 
land in my flight, so many by sea, that I think even 
thou canst feel pain at the hearing of them. I 
assure thee, if Ulysses should be compared with me, 
Neptune's wrath is less than Jove's has been. So 
then, whoever thou art, do not open again the charges 
against me, remove thy hard hands from my danger- 
ous wound, and that forgetfulness may lessen the ill 
repute of my fault, permit a scar to cover my deed ; 

L 145 


humanaeque memor sortis, quae tollit eosdem 
et premit, incertas ipse verere vices. 

et quoniam, fieri quod numquam posse putavi, 
70 est tibi de rebus maxima cura meis, 

non est quod timeas : fortuna miserrima nostra est, 
omne trahit secum Caesaris ira malum. 

quod magis ut liqueat, neve hoc ego fingere credar, 
ipse velim poenas experiare meas. 


Frigora iam Zephyri minuunt, annoque peracto 

longior antiquis visa Maeotis bienis, 
inpositamque sibi qui non bene pertulit Hellen, 

tempora nocturnis aequa diurna facit. 
5 iam violam puerique legunt hilarcsque pucllae, 

rustica quae nullo nata serente venit ; 
prataque pubescunt variorum More colorum, 

indocilique loquax gutture vernat avis ; 
utque malae matris crimen deponat hirundo 
10 sub trabibus cunas tectaque parva facit : 
herbaque, quae latuit Cerealibus obruta sulcis, 

exit et expandit molle cacumen humo ; 
quoque loco est vitis, de palmite gemma movetur : 

nam procul a Getico litore vitis abest ; 
15 quoque loco est arbor, turgescit in arbore ramus : 

nam procul a Geticis finibus arbor abest. 
otia nunc istic, iunctisque ex ordine ludis 

cedunt verbosi garrula bella fori. 
lusus l equi nunc est, levibus nunc luditur armis, 
20 nunc pila, nunc celeri volvitur orbe trochus ; 
1 usus 

1 The constellation of the Ham the month of March. 

2 Procne. 

TRISTIA, III. xi. 67 xn. 20 

remember human fate, which lifts or lowers the same 
men, and fear for thyself uncertain change. And 
since as I never thought possible thou dost take 
the greatest interest in my affairs, there is naught 
for thee to fear : my fate is most wretched, Caesar's 
wrath draws with it every ill. That this may be 
clearer and I be not thought to feign it, I pray that 
in thine own person thou mayst try my punishment. 


The cold is now weakening beneath the zephyr's 
breath and at the year's close the Maeotic winter has 
seemed more endless than those of old, and he l who 
bore Helle but ill upon his back now makes equal 
the time of night and day. Now merry boys and 
girls are plucking the violets that spring up unsown 
in the fields, the meadows are abloom with many- 
coloured flowers, the chatty birds from unschooled 
throats utter a song of spring, and the swallow, to 
put off the name of evil mother,-' builds beneath the 
rafters the tiny house that cradles her young. The 
grain that lay in hiding beneath the furrows comes 
forth, unfolding from the soil its tender tips. Wher- 
ever grows the vine, the bud is just pushing from the 
shoot (but the vine grows far from the Getic shore !), 
and wherever grows the tree, the branches are just 
budding (but the tree grows far from the Getic shore !). 
In yonder land there is now rest, and the noisy wars 
of the wordy forum are giving place to festivals one 
after another ; now there is sport with horses, now 
there is play with light arms, with the ball or the 



nunc ubi perfusa est oleo labente iuvsntus, 

defessos artus Virgine tinguit aqua, 
scaena viget studiisque favor distantibus ardet, 

proque tribus resonant terna theatra foris. 
25 o quater, o quotiens 1 non est numerare, beatum, 

non interdicta cui licet urbe frui ! 
at mihi sentitur nix verno sole soluta, 

quaeque lacu durae non fodiantur aquae : 
nee mare concrescit glacie, nee, ut ante, per Histrum 
30 stridula Sauromates plaustra bubulcus agit. 
incipient 2 aliquae tamen hue adnare carinae, 

hospitaque in Ponti litore puppis erit. 
sedulus occurram nautae, dictaque salute, 

quid veniat, quaeram, quisve quibusve locis. 
35 ille quidem mi rum ni de regione propinqua 

non nisi vicinas tutus ararit 3 aquas, 
rarus ab Italia tantum mare navita transit, 
litora rarus in haec portubus orba venit. 
sive tamen Graeca scierit, sive ille Latina 
40 voce loqui certe gratior huius erit ; 

fas quoque ab ore freti longaeque Propontidos 


hue aliquem certo vela dedisse Noto 
quisquis is est, memori rumorem voce referre 

et fieri famae parsque gradusque potest. 
45 is, precor, auditos possit narrare triumphos 

Caesaris et Latio reddita vota lovi, 
teque, rebellatrix, tandem, Germania, magni 
triste caput pedibus supposuisse ducis. 

1 quantum et vel quantum o vel quater et 
2 incipiunt 3 arabit vel araret corr. Heinsius 

1 From the aqueduct called Virgo. 

TRISTIA, III. xii. 21-48 

swift circling hoop ; now the young men, reeking of 
slippery oil, are bathing wearied limbs in Virgin 
water. 1 The stage is full of life, and partizanship 
ablaze with warring passions, and three theatres 
roar in the place of three forums. 2 Ah ! four times 
happy yes, countless times happy is he who may 
enjoy the unforbidden city I 

27 But mine it is to feel the snow melted by the 
spring sun and water which is not dug all hard from 
the pool. The sea, too, is no longer solid with ice, 
nor as before does the Sauromatian herdsman drive 
his creaking wagon across the Ister. Yet spite of 
all some ships will begin to voyage hither, and soon 
there will be a friendly bark on Poiitus' shore. 
Eagerly I shall run to meet the mariner and when 
I've greeted him, shall ask why he comes, who and 
from what place he is. It will be strange, indeed, 
if he is not from a neighbouring land one who has 
ploughed no seas but those near by. For rarely does 
a sailor cross the wide seas from Italy, rarely visit 
this harbourless shore. Yet if he knows how to 
speak with the voice of Greek or Roman (this last 
will surely be the sweeter, for 'tis possible, too, that 
from the mouth of the strait and the waiters of far 
Propontis someone has set sail hither with a steady 
south wind), whoever he is, he may be one to tell 
faithfully some rumour, one to share and pass on 
some report. May he, I pray, have power to tell 
of Caesar 's triumphs and vows paid to Jupiter of the 
Latins ; that thou, rebellious Germany, at length 
hast lowered thy sorrowing head beneath the foot 

* The three theatres were those of Pompey, Marcellus, 
and Balbus ; the three forums were the forum Romanum, 
lulium, and Augusti. 



haec mihi qui referet, quae non vidisse dolebo, 
50 ille meae domui protinus hospes erit. 

ei mihi, iamne domus Scythico Nasonis in orbe est ? 

iamque suum mihi dat pro Lare poena locum ? 
di facile ut Caesar non hie penetrale domumque, 

hospitium poenae sed velit esse meae. 


Ecce supervacuus quid enim fuit utile gigni ? 

ad sua Natalis tempora noster adest. 
dure, quid ad miseros veniebas exulis annos ? 

debueras illis inposuisse modum. 
5 si tibi cura mei, vel si pudor ullus inesset, 

non ultra patriam me sequerere meam, 
quoque loco primum tibi sum male cognitus infans, 

illo temptasses ultimus esse mihi, 
inque relinquendo, quod idem fecere sodales, 
10 tu quoque dixisses tristis in urbe " vale." 

quid tibi cum Ponto ? num te quoque Caesaris ira 

extremam gelidi misit in orbis humum ? 
scilicet expectas soliti tibi moris honorem, 

pendcat ex umeris vestis ut alba meis, 
15 fumida cingatur florentibus ara coronis, 

micaque sollemni turis in igne sonet, 
libaque dem proprie genitale notantia tempus, 

concipiamque bonas ore favente preces. 

1 Tiberius, who took the field against the Germans after 
the defeat of Yarns, A.n. 9. 

2 The word domua (cf. Lare, penetrale) implies a per- 
manent abode. The poet prays that Scythia may be merely 
a temporary residence (hospitivm). 


TRIST1A, III. xn. 49 xni. 18 

of our leader. 1 He who tells me such things as these 
things it will grieve me that I have not seen shall 
be forthwith a guest within my home. Ah me ! is 
Naso's home 2 now in the Scythian world, and does my 
punishment assign me its own land as an abode ? 
Ye gods, give Caesar the will that not here may be 
my hearth and home but only the hostelry of my 
punishment ! 


Lo ! to no purpose for what profit was there in 
my birth ? my birthday god 3 attends his anniver- 
sary. Cruel one, why hast thou come to increase the 
wretched years of an exile ? To them thou shouldst 
have put an end. Haclst thou any love for me or 
any sense of shame, thou wouldst not be following me 
beyond my native land, and where first I was known 
by thee as an ill-starred child, there shouldst thou 
have tried to be my last, and at the parting, like my 
friends, thou too in the city shouldst have said in 
sorrow " Farewell." 

11 What hast thou to do with Pontus ? Is it that 
Caesar's wrath sent thee too to the remotest land of 
the world of cold ? Thou awaitest, I suppose, thine 
honour in its wonted guise : a white robe hanging 
from my shoulders, a smoking altar garlanded with 
chaplets, the grains of incense snapping in the holy 
fire, and myself offering the cakes that mark my 
birthday and framing kindly petitions with pious 

3 The genius natal is to whom the Roman offered .sacrifice 
on his birthday. The genius was believed to be a spiritual 
counterpart of the individual. 



non ita sum positus, nee sunt ea tempora nobis, 
20 adventu possim laetus ut esse tuo. 
funeris ara mihi, ferali cincta eupressu, 1 

convenit et structis flamma parata rogis. 
nee dare tura libet nil exorantia divos, 

in tantis subeunt nee bona verba malis. 
25 si tamen est aliquid nobis hac luce petendum, 

in loca ne redeas amplius ista, precor, 
dum me terrarum pars paene novissima, Pontus, 

Euxinus falso nomine dictus, habet. 


Cultor et antistes doetorum sancte virorum, 

quid facis, ingenio semper amice meo ? 
ecquid, ut incolumem quondam celebrare solebas, 

nunc quoque, ne videar totus abesse, caves ? 
6 suscipis 2 exceptis ecquid mea carmina solis 

Artibus, artifici quae nocuere suo ? 
immo ita fac, quaeso, vatum studiose novorum, 

quaque potes, retine corpus in urbe meum. 
est fuga dicta mihi, non est fuga dicta libellis, 
10 qui domini poenam non meruere sui. 

saepe per externas 3 profugus pater exulat oras, 

urbe tamen natis exulis esse licet. 
Palladis exemplo de me sine matre creata 

carmina sunt ; stirps haec progeniesque mea est. 
16 hanc tibi commendo, quae quo magis orba parente 

hoc tibi tutori sarcina maior erit. 

1 cupresso 2 conficis : suscipis 5" 8 extremas 

TRISTIA, III. xiii. 19 xiv. 16 

lips. Not such is my condition, nor such my hours, 
that I can rejoice at thy coming. An altar of death 
girdled with funereal cypress is suited to me and a 
flame made ready for the up-reared pyre. Nor is it 
a pleasure to offer incense that wins nothing from 
gods, nor in such misfortunes do words of good omen 
come to my lips. Yet if I must ask thee something 
on this day, return thou no more to such a land, I 
pray, so long as all but the remotest part of the world, 
the Pontus, falsely called Euxine, 1 possesses me. 


Cherisher and revered protector of learned men, 
what doest thou thou that hast ever befriended my 
genius ? As thou once wert wont to extol me when 
I was in safety, now too dost thou take heed that I 
seern not wholly absent ? Dost thou harbour my 
verse except only that " Art " which ruined its 
artificer ? Do so, I pray, thou patron of new bards ; 
so far as may be, keep my body 2 in the city. Exile 
was decreed to me, exile was not decreed to my 
books ; they did not deserve their master 's punish- 
ment. Oft is a father exiled on a foreign shore, yet 
may the exile's children live in the city. Pallas- 
fashion 3 were my verses born from me without a 
mother ; these are my offspring, my family. These 
I commend to thee ; the more bereft they are, the 
greater burden will they be to thee their guardian. 

1 Euxine means k ' hospitable," cf. Tr. iv. 4. 55 f, ; v. 10. 13 f. 

8 i.e. my poems. 
8 Pallas was born from the head of Zeus. 



tres mihi sunt nati contagia nostra secuti : 

cetera fac curae sit tibi turba palam. 
sunt quoque mutatae, ter quinque volumina, formae, 
20 carmina de domini funere rapta sui. 

illud opus potuit, si non prius ipse perissem, 

certius a summa nomen habere manu : 
nunc incorrectum populi pervenit in ora, 

in populi quicquam si tamen ore mei est. 
25 hoc quoque nescio quid nostris appone libellis, 

diverso missum quod tibi ab orbe venit. 
quod quicumque leget, si quis leget aestimet ante, 

compositum quo sit tempore quoque loco, 
aequus erit scriptis, quorum cognoverit esse 
30 exilium tempus barbariamque locum : 
inque tot adversis carmen mirabitur ullum 

ducere me tristi sustinuisse manu. 
ingenium fregere meum mala, cuius et ante 

fons infecundus parvaque vena fuit. 
35 sed quaecumque fuit, nullo exercente refugit, 

et longo periit arida facta situ, 
non hie librorum, per quos inviter alarque, 

copia : pro libris arcus et arma sonant, 
nullus in hac terra, recitem si carmina, cuius 
40 intellecturis auribus utar, adest ; 

non quo secedam locus est. custodia muri 

summovet infestos clausaque porta Getas. 
saepe aliquod quaere verbum nomenque looumque, 

nee quisquam est a quo certior esse queam. 
45 dicere saepe aliquid conanti turpe fateri ! 
verba mihi desunt dedidicique loqui. 


TRISTIA, III. xiv. 17-46 

Three of my children x have caught pollution from 
me : make the rest of the flock openly thy care. 
There are also thrice five books on changing forms, 2 
verses snatched from the funeral of then* master. 
That work, had I not perished beforehand, might 
have gained a more secure name from my finishing 
hand : but now unrevised it has come upon men's lips 
if anything of mine is on their lips. Add to my 
books this humble bit also, which comes to you 
dispatched from a far-distant world. Whoever reads 
this (if anyone does) let him take account beforehand 
at what time, in what place it was composed. He 
will be fair-minded to writings which he knows were 
composed in time of exile, in the barbarian world ; 
and amid so many adverse circumstances he will 
wonder that I had the heart to write with sorrow- 
ing hand any poem. Misfortunes have broken 
my talent whose source was even aforetime unpro- 
ductive and whose stream was meagre. But such 
as it was, with none to exercise it, it has shrunken 
and is lost, dried up by long neglect. Not here 
have I an abundance of books to stimulate and 
nourish me : in their stead is the rattle of bows 
and arms. There is nobody in this land, should 
I read my verse, of whose intelligent ear I might 
avail myself, there is no place to which I may 
withdraw. The guard on the wall and a closed 
gate keep back the hostile Getae. Often I am 
at a loss for a word, a name, a place, and there is 
none who can inform me. Oft when I attempt some 
utterance shameful confession ! words fail me : 
I have unlearned my power of speech. Thracian and 

1 The three books of the Ars amatoria. 
* The Metamorphoses. 



Threicio Scythicoque fere * circumsonor ore, 

et videor Geticis scribere posse modis. 
crede mihi, timeo ne sint inmixta Latinis 
50 inque meis scrip tis Pontica verba legas. 
qualemcumque igitur venia dignare libellum. 
sortis et excusa condicione meae. 
1 fero 


TR1STIA, III. xiv. 47-52 

Scythian tongues chatter on almost every side, and 
I think I could write in Getic measure. 1 O believe 
me, I fear that there may be mingled with the Latin 
in my writings the language of the Pontus. Such 
as my book is, then, deem it worthy of indulgence 
and pardon it because of the circumstances of my 

i See Ex P. iv. 13. 19 ff. 



Siqua meis fuerint, ut erunt, vitiosa libellis, 

excusata suo tempore, lector, habe. 
exul eram, requiesque mihi, non fama petita est, 

mens intenta suis ne foret usque malis. 
5 hoc est cur cantet vinctus quoque compede fossor, 

indocili numero cum grave mollit opus, 
cantat et innitens limosae pronus harenae, 

adverse tardam qui trahit amne ratem ; 
quique refert pariter lentos ad pectora remos, 
10 in numerum pulsa brachia pulsat l aqua, 
fessus ubi incubuit baculo saxove resedit 

pastor, harundineo carmine mulcet oves. 
cantantis pariter, pariter data pensa trahentis, 

fallitur ancillae decipiturque labor. 
15 fertur et abducta Lyrneside tristis Achilles 

Haemonia curas attenuasse lyra. 
curn traheret silvas Orpheus et dura canendo 

saxa, bis amissa coniuge maestus erat. 
me quoque Musa levat Ponti loca iussa petentem : 
20 sola comes nostrae perstitit ilia fugae ; 

1 iactat r 

1 A flute was often used to mark the time for the rowers. 

2 Briseis. 3 Eurydice. 



Whatever faults you may find and you will find 
them in my books, hold them absolved, reader, 
because of the time of their writing. I am an exile ; 
solace, not fame, has been my object that my mind 
dwell not constantly on its own woes. This is why 
even the ditcher, shackled though he be, resorts to 
song, lightening with untutored rhythm his heavy 
work. He also sings who bends forward over the 
slimy sand, towing against the stream the slow- 
moving barge, or he who pulls to his breast in unison 
the pliant oars, timing l his arms with measured 
strokes upon the water. The weary shepherd 
leaning upon his staff or seated upon a rock soothes 
his sheep with the drone of his reeds. At once 
singing, at once spinning her allotted task, the slave 
girl beguiles and whiles away her toil. They say 
too that when the maid 2 of Lyrnesus was taken 
from him, sad Achilles relieved his sorrow with the 
Haemonian lyre. While Orpheus was drawing to 
him the forests and the hard rocks by his singing, he 
was sorrowing for the wife 3 twice lost to him. 

iy Me also the Muse comforted while on my way 
to the appointed lands of Pontus ; she only was the 
steadfast companion of my flight the only one who 



sola nee insidias, Sinti nee 1 militis ensem, 

nee mare nee ventos barbariamque timet. 
scit quoque, cum peril, quis me deceperit error, 

et culpam in faeto, non scelus, esse meo, 
25 scilicet hoc ipso nunc aequa, quod obfuit ante, 

cum mecurn iuncti criminis acta rea est. 
non equidem vellem, quoniam nocitura fuerunt, 

Pieridum sacris inposuisse manum. 
sed nunc quid faciam ? vis me tenet ipsa sacrorum, 
30 et carmen demens carmine laesus amo. 
sic nova Dulichio lotos gustata palato 

illo, quo nocuit, grata sapore fuit. 
sentit amans sua damna fere, tamen haeret in illis, 

materiam culpae persequiturque suae. 
35 nos quoque delectant, quamvis nocuere, libelli, 

quodque mihi telum vulnera fecit, amo. 
forsitan hoc studium possit furor esse videri, 

sed quiddam furor hie utilitatis habet. 
semper in obtutu mentem vetat esse malorum, 
40 praesentis casus inmemoremque facit. 
utque suum Bacche non sentit saucia vulnus, 

dum stupet Idaeis exululata modis, 
sic ubi mota calent viridi mea pectora thyrso, 

altior humano spiritus ille malo est. 
45 ille nee exilium, Scythici nee litora ponti, 

ille nee iratos sentit habere deos. 
utque soporiferae biberem si pocula Lethes, 

temporis adversi sic mihi sensus abest. 

1 inter nee : Sinti nee Ehwald 

1 A tribe mentioned only here by Ovid, but the text is 
not certain. 

TRISTIA, IV. i. 21-48 

fears neither treachery, nor the brand of the Sintian 1 
soldier, nor sea nor winds nor the world of the bar- 
barians. She knows also what mistake led me astray 
at the time of my ruin, that there is fault in my 
deed, but no crime. Doubtless for this very reason 
is she fair to me now because she injured me before, 
when she was indicted with me for a joint crime. 
Well could I wish, since they were destined to work 
me harm, that I had ne'er set hand to the holy service 
of the Pierian ones. But now, what am I to do ? 
The very power of that holy service grips me ; mad- 
man that I am, though song has injured me, 'tis still 
song that I love. So the strange lotos tasted by 
Dulichian palates 2 gave pleasure through the very 
savour which wrought harm. The lover is oft aware 
of his own ruin yet clings to it, pursuing that which 
sustains his own fault. I also find pleasure in my 
books though they have injured me, and I love the 
very weapon that made my wounds. 

37 Perchance this passion may seem madness, but 
this madness has a certain profit : it forbids the mind 
to be ever gazing at its woes, rendering it forgetful 
of present mischance. As the stricken Bacchante 
feels not her wound while in ecstasy she shrieks to 
the accompaniment of Idaean measures, so when 
my heart feels the inspiring glow of the green 
thyrsus, 3 that mood is too exalted for human woe ; it 
realizes neither exile nor the shores of the Scythian 
sea nor the anger of the gods, and just as if I were 
drinking slumber-bringing Lethe's draughts, I lose 
the sense of evil days. 

2 The comrades of Ulysses are meant. 
8 The ivy-crowned staff of the devotees of Bacchus 
often used as a symbol for poetic inspiration. 

M 161 


iure deas igitur veneror mala nostra levantes, 
50 sollicitae * comites ex Helicone fugae, 
et partim pelago partim vestigia terra 

vel rate dignatas vel pede nostra sequi. 
sint, precor, haec saltern faciles mihi ! namque 


cetera cum magno Caesare turba facit, 
65 meque tot adversis cumulant, 2 quot litus harenas, 

quotque fretum pisces, ovaque piscis habet. 
vere prius flores, aestu mimerabis aristas, 

poma per autumnum frigoribusque nives, 
quam mala, quae toto patior iactatus in orbe, 
60 dum miser Euxini litora laeva 3 peto. 

nee tamen, lit veni, levior fortuna malorum est : 

hue quoque sunt nostras fata secuta vias. 
hie quoque cognosco natalis stamina nostri, 

stamina de nigro vellere facta mihi. 
65 utque neque insidias capitisque pericula narrem, 

vera quidem, veri 4 sed graviora fide, 
vivere quam miserum est inter Bessosque Getasque 

ilium, qui populi semper in ore fuit ! 
quam miserum est, porta vitam muroque tueri, 
70 vixque sui tutum viribus esse loci ! 
aspera militiae iuvenis certamina fugi, 

nee nisi lusura movimus arma manu ; 
nunc senior gladioque latus scutoque sinistram, 

canitiem galeae subicioque meam. 
75 nam dedit e specula custos ubi signa tumultus, 
induimus trepida protinus arma manu. 

1 sollicitas corr. Scaliger 

* cumulat 8 saeva : laeva r 

* veri] vera vel vidi corr. Francius 

1 i.e. as one enters the Pontus. But Ovid may be playing 

TRISTIA, IV. i. 49-76 

49 Tis right then for me to revere the goddesses 
who lighten my misfortunes, who came from Helicon 
to share my anxious flight, who now by sea, now by 
land, deigned to follow my route on ship or afoot. 
May they at least, I pray, be propitious to me ! 
For the rest of the gods take sides with mighty 
Caesar, heaping upon me as many ills as the sands 
of the shore, the fishes of the sea, or the eggs of the 
fish. Sooner will you count the flowers of spring, 
the grain-ears of summer, the fruits of autumn, or the 
snowflakes in time of cold than the ills which I suffered 
driven all over the world seeking in wretchedness the 
shores to the left l of the Euxine. Yet no lighter 
since my coming is the lot of my misfortunes ; to 
this place also fate has followed my path. Here also 
I recognize the threads of my nativity, threads 
twisted for me from a black fleece. To say naught 
of ambushes or of dangers to my life true they are, 
yet too heavy for belief in truth how pitiable 
a thing is living among Bessi and Getae for him who 
was ever on the people's lips ! How pitiable to 
guard life by gate and wall, and scarce to be safe- 
guarded by the strength of one's own position ! The 
rough contests of military service I shunned even as 
a youth and touched arms only with a hand intending 
to play ; but now that I am growing old I fit a sword 
to my side, a shield to my left arm, and I place a 
helmet upon my gray head. For when the guard 
from the lookout has given the signal of a raid, 
forthwith I don my armour with shaking hands. 

on the meaning of Euxine, " hospitable," " propitious," i.e. 
the " hospitable sea, so inhospitable," ef. TV. iii. 13. 28 ; 
v. 10. 14 ; iv. 8. 42. But Tr. iv. 10. 97 supports the transla- 
tion given in the text. 



hostis, habens arcus imbutaque tela venenis, 1 

saevus anhelanti moenia lustrat equo ; 
utque rapax pecudem, quae senon texit ovili, 
80 per sata, per silvas fertque trahitque lupus, 
sic, siquem nondum portarum saepe 2 receptum 

barbarus in campis repperit hostis, habet : 
aut sequitur captus coniectaque vincula collo 

accipit, aut telo virus habente perit. 
85 hie ego sollicitae lateo novus incola sedis : 

heu nimium fati tempora longa 3 mei ! 
et tamen ad numeros antiquaque sacra revert! 

sustinet in tantis hospita Musa malis. 
sed neque cui recitem quisquam est mea carmina, 

nee qui 
90 auribus aecipiat verba Latina suis. 

ipse mihi quid enim faciam ? scriboque legoque, 

tutaque iudicio littera nostra suo est. 
saepe tamen dixi " cui nunc haec cura laborat ? 

an mea Sauromatae scripta Getaeque legent ? " 
95 saepe etiam lacrimae me sunt scribente profusae, 

umidaque est fletu littera facta meo, 
corque vetusta meum, tamquam nova, vulnera novit, 

inque sinum maestae labitur imber aquae, 
cum vice mutata, qui sim fuerimque, recorder, 
100 et, tulerit quo me casus et unde, subit, 
saepe manus demens, studiis irata sibique, 

misit in arsuros carmina nostra focos. 
atque ita 4 de multis quoniam non multa supersunt, 

cum venia facito, quisquis es, ista legas. 
105 tu quoque non melius, quam sunt mea tempora, 

interdicta mihi, consule, Roma, boni. 

1 veneno * sede : saepe r 

* lenta * ea : ita r 


TRISTIA, IV. i. 77-106 

The foe with his bows and with arrows dipped in 
poison fiercely circles the walls upon his panting 
steed, and as the sheep which has not found shelter 
in the fold is carried and dragged through field, 
through forest by the ravening wolf, so 'tis with 
him whom the barbarian finds not yet sheltered 
within the hedge of the gates, but in the fields : 
that man either follows into captivity and submits 
to the bonds cast about his throat or he dies by an 
envenomed missile. This is the place in which, a new 
colonist in an abode of anxiety, I lie secluded alas ! 
too long is the period of my fate ! 

87 Nevertheless my Muse has the heart to return 
to rhythm, to her old-time rites, a friendly guest amid 
these great misfortunes. But there is none to whom 
I may read my verses, none whose ears can com- 
prehend Latin words. I write for myself what else 
can I do ? and I read to myself, and my writing is 
secure in its own criticism. Yet have I often said, 
" For whom this careful toil ? Will the Sauromatae 
and the Getae read my writings ? " Often too my 
tears have flowed as I wrote, my writing has been 
moistened by my weeping, my heart feels the old 
wounds as if they were fresh, and sorrow's rain glides 
down upon my breast. 

99 Again when I bethink me what, through change 
of fortune, I am and what I was, when it comes over 
me whither fate has borne me and whence, often my 
mad hand, in anger with my efforts and with itself, 
has hurled my verses to blaze upon the hearth. And 
since of the many not many survive, see thou readest 
them with indulgence, whoever thou mayst be ! 
Thou too take in good part verse that is not better 
than my lot, O Rome forbidden to me ! 




lam fera Caesaribus Germania, totus ut orbis, 

victa potest flexo succubuisse genu, 
altaque velentur fortasse Palatia sertis, 

turaque in igne sonent inficiantque diem, 
6 candidaque adducta collum percussa securi 

victima purpureo sanguine pulset humum, 
donaque amicorum templis promissa deorum 

reddere victores Caesar uterque parent, 
et qui Caesar eo iuvenes sub nomine crescunt, 
10 perpetuo terras ut domus ilia regat, 

cumque bonis nuribus pro sospite Li via nato 

munera det meritis, saepe datura, deis, 
et pariter matres et quae sine crimine castos 

perpetua servant virginitate focos ; 
16 plebs pia cumque pia laetetur plebe senatus, 

parvaque cuius eram pars ego nuper eques : 
nos procul expulsos communia gaudia fallunt, 

famaque tarn longe non nisi parva venit. 
ergo omnis populus poterit spectare triumphos, 
20 cumque ducum titulis oppida capta leget, 
vinclaque captiva reges cervice gerentes 

ante coronatos ire videbit equos, 
et cernet vultus aliis pro tempore versos, 

terribiles aliis inmemoresque sui. 
25 quorum pars causas et res et nomina quaeret, 

pars referet, quamvis noverit ilia parum. 

1 Tiberius was in the field against the Germans, cf, 
iii. 12. 45. Ovid is anticipating the triumph. 
8 Augustus and Tiberius. 
* Germanicus and the younger Drusus. 


TRISTIA, IV. n. 1-26 


Already wild Germany, like the whole world, may 
have yielded on bended knee to the Caesars ; l may- 
hap the lofty Palatium is decked with garlands and 
incense is crackling in the fire, colouring the light 
of day, while from the white victim's throat smitten 
by the axe's stroke the red blood is pattering upon 
the ground, the gifts promised to the temples of the 
friendly gods are being made ready for offering by 
both Caesars 2 and by the youths 3 who are growing 
up under Caesar's name to give that house eternal 
sway over the world ; with her good daughters 4 
Livia for the safety of her sou is perchance offering 
gifts, as she will often do, to the deserving gods, and 
in her company the matrons also and those who 
without stain in eternal virginity keep watch over 
the hearth of purity ; the loyal plebs is rejoicing, 
and with the loyal plebs the senate and the knights 
among whom but recently I had a humble part : but 
I driven so far away miss the common rejoicing 
and nothing but a slight rumour penetrates so far. 

19 So then all the people will be able to view the 
triumph, reading the names of captured towns and 
the titles of leaders, beholding the kings with 
chains upon their captive throats marching before 
the garlanded horses, seeing some countenances 
turned to earth as becomes captives, others grim and 
forgetful of their lot. Some of the people will 
inquire the causes, the objects, the names, and others 
will answer though they know all too little. 

* Agrippina, wife of Germanicus, and Li villa, wife of 



haec ego summotus qua possum mente videbo : 

erepti nobis ius habet ilia loci : 
ilia per inmensas spatiatur libera terras, 
60 in caelum celeri pervenit ilia via l ; 
ilia meos oculos mcdiam deducit in urbem, 

immunes tanti nee sinit esse boni ; 
invenietque animus, qua currus spectet eburnos ; 

sic certe in patria per breve tempus ero. 
65 vera tamen capiet populus spectacula felix, 

laetaque erit praesens cum duce turba suo. 
at mihi fingendo tantum longeque remotis 

auribus hie fructus percipiendus erit, 
atque procul Latio diversum missus in orbem 
70 qui narret cupido, vix erit, ista mihi. 

is quoque iam serum referet veteremque triumphum : 

quo tamen audiero tempore, laetus ero. 
ilia dies veniet, mea qua lugubria ponam, 

causaque privata publica maior erit. 


Magna minorque ferae, quarum regis altera Graias, 

altera Sidonias, utraque sicca, rates, 
omnia cum summo positae videatis in axe, 

et maris occiduas non subeatis aquas, 
5 aetheriamque suis cingens amplexibus arcem 

vester ab intacta circulus extet humo, 
aspicite ilia, precor, quae non bene moenia quondam 

dicitur Iliades transiluisse Remus, 
inque mearn nitidos dominam convertite vultus, 
10 sitque memor nostri necne, referte mihi. 

1 The constellations of the Greater arid Lesser Bear. 

TR1STIA, IV. n. 57ni. 10 

67 All this I, an exile, shall see in my mind's eye 
my only way ; for my mind at least has a right to that 
place which has been torn from me. It travels free 
through measureless lands, it reaches the heaven in 
its swift course, it leads my eyes to the city's midst, 
not allowing them to be deprived of so great a bless- 
ing ; and my mind will find a place to view the ivory 
car, thus at least for a brief space I shall be in my 
native land. Yet the real sight will belong to the 
happy people, the throng will rejoice in the presence 
of their own leader. 

67 But as for me in imagination only and with ears 
far away I shall have perforce to realize the joy, and 
there will scarce be one sent far from Latium to the 
opposite side of the world to tell it all to eager me. 
Even he will tell the tale of that triumph late, when 
it is already of long standing ; yet whenever I hear 
of it, I shall be glad. Then will come a day on which 
I may lay aside my gloom ; greater than a private 
cause will be that of the state. 


Ye two beasts, 1 great and small, one the guide of 
Grecian, the other of Sidonian ships, each unwetted 
by the waves, since from your places at the summit 
of the pole ye behold all things, never dipping 
beneath the westering waters, and since your orbit 
girdling heaven's heights in its embrace stands out 
above the earth it never touches, regard, I pray, 
those walls which once, they say, Remus, Ilia's son, 
leaped across to his undoing ; turn your bright faces 
upon my lady and tell me whether she thinks of me 



ei mihi, cur timeam ? quae sunt manifesta, re- 


cur iacet l ambiguo spes mea mixta metu ? 
crede, quod est et vis, ac desine tuta vereri, 

deque fide certa sit tibi certa fides, 
15 quodque polo fixae nequeunt tibi dicere flammae, 

non mentitura tu tibi voce refer, 
esse tui memorem, de qua tibi maxima cura est, 

quodque potest, secum nomen habere tuum. 
vultibus ilia tuis tamquam praesentis inhaeret, 2 
20 teque remota procul, si modo vivit, amat. 
ecquid, ubi incubuit iusto mens aegra dolori, 

lenis ab admonito pectore somnus abit ? 
tune subeunt curae, dum te lectusque locusque 

tangit et oblitam non sinit esse mei, 
25 et veniunt aestus, et nox inmensa videtur, 

fessaque iactati corporis ossa dolent ? 
non equidem dubito, quin haec et cetera fiant, 

detque tuus maesti signa doloris amor, 
nee cruciere minus, quam cum Thebana cruentum 
30 Hectora Thessalico vidit ab axe rapi. 

quid tamen ipse precer dubito, nee dicere possum, 

affectum quern te mentis habere velim. 
tristis es ? indignor quod sim tibi causa doloris : 

non es ? at 3 amisso coniuge digna fores. 
35 tu vero tua damna dole, mitissima coniunx, 

tempus et a nostris exige triste malis, 
fleque meos casus : est quaedam flere voluptas ; 

expletur lacrimis egeriturque dolor, 
atque utinam lugenda tibi non vita, sed esset 
40 mors mea, morte fores sola relicta mea ! 

1 latet vel labat : iacet Ehwald 
2 'praesentibus haeret 8 ut : at "Rentley 


TRISTIA, IV. in. 11-40 

or not. Ah me ! Why should I fear ? I am seeking 
that which is already clear. Why does my hope He 
prostrate mingled with hesitating fear ? Believe 
that which is even as you wish, and cease to fear for 
what is secure. When faith wavers not, have in it 
unwavering faith, and what the pole-flames cannot 
tell you, that tell yourself in a voice that will not lie : 
of you in very truth she thinks she who is the object 
of your own great love ; she keeps with her the only 
thing she can, your name. She bends over your face 
as if you were present, and though far away, if only 
she is alive, she loves you still. 

21 When thy sick heart broods upon thy just grief, 
can it be that soft slumber leaves thy mindful breast ? 
Then does woe steal upon thee, while my couch and 
my place touch thee, not permitting thee to forget 
rne ? Does anguish come and the night seem end- 
less, and do the weary bones of thy tossing body 
ache ? I doubt not that these and other things 
occur, that thy love gives token of sorrow's pain, that 
thou art tortured not less than the Theban princess l 
wKen she beheld blood-stained Hector dragged by 
the Thessalian chariot. 2 

31 Yet what prayer to utter I know not, nor can I 
say what feeling I wish thee to have. Art thou sad ? 
I am angry that I am the cause of thy grief. Thou 
art not sad ? Yet, I would have thee worthy of a 
lost husband. Bewail in very truth thy loss, gentlest 
of wives, live through a time of sorrow for my mis- 
fortunes. Weep for my woe ; in weeping there is a 
certain joy, for by tears grief is sated and relieved. 
And would that thou hadst to mourn not my life but 
my death, that by my death thou hadst been left 

1 Andromache. * The car of Achilles. 



spiritus hie per te patrias exisset in auras, 
sparsissent lacrimae pectora nostra piae, 
supremoque die notum spectantia caelum 

texissent digiti lumina nostra tui, 
45 et cinis in tumulo positus iacuisset avito, 

tactaque nascenti corpus haberet humus ; 
denique, ut et vixi, sine crimine mortuus essem. 

nunc mea supplicio vita pudenda suo est. 
me miserum, si tu, cum diceris exulis uxor, 
60 avertis vultus et subit ora rubor ! 

me miserum, si turpe putas mihi nupta videri ! 

me miserum, si te iam pudet esse meam ! 
tempus ubi est illud, quo te iactare solebas 

coniuge, nee nomen dissimulare viri ? 
55 tempus ubi est, quo te l nisi non vis ilia referri 

et dici, memini, iuvit et esse meam ? 
utque proba dignum est, omni tibi dote placebam : 

addebat veris multa faventis amor, 
nee, quern praeferres ita res tibi magna videbar 
60 quemque tuum malles esse, vir alter erat. 

nunc quoque ne pudeat, quod sis mihi nupta ; 


non debet dolor hinc, debet abesse pudor. 
cum cecidit Capaneus subito temerarius ictu, 

num legis Euadnen erubuisse viro ? 
65 nee quia rex mundi compescuit ignibus ignes, 

ipse suis Phaethon infitiandus erat. 
nee Semele Cadmo facta est aliena parenti, 

quod precibus periit ambitiosa suis. 
nee tibi, quod saevis ego sum lovis ignibus ictus, 
70 purpureus molli fiat in ore pudor. 

1 illud quo te vel illud nisi non vis vel illud quo ni (non) 
fugis corr. r 

TRISTIA, IV. in. 41-70 

alone ! This spirit of mine through thy aid would 
have gone forth to its native air, loving tears would 
have wet my breast, my eyes upon the last day gazing 
at a familiar sky would have been closed by thy 
fingers, my ashes would have been laid to rest in the 
tomb of my fathers and the ground that I touched at 
birth would possess my body ; as I lived, in fine, so 
should I have died, without crime. Now my life 
must be shamed by its own punishment. Wretched 
am I if, when thou art called an exile's wife, thou 
dost avert- thy gaze and a blush steals over thy face ! 
Wretched am I if thou countest it disgrace to be 
thought my bride ! Wretched am I if now thou art 
ashamed to be mine ! Where is that time when thou 
wert wont to boast of thy husband and not conceal 
that husband's name ? Where is that time when 
unless thou wouldst not have such things recalled 
thou wert glad (I remember) to be called and to 
be mine ? As becomes a good woman thou wert 
pleased with every endowment I possessed and to 
those which were real thy partial love added many. 
There was no other man for thee to put before me 
so important an object did I seem to thee nor any 
whom thou didst prefer to be thy husband. Even 
now be not ashamed that thou art wedded to me ; 
this should bring thee grief, but no shame. When 
fell rash Capaneus by a sudden stroke, dost thou read 
that Euadne blushed for her husband ? Not because 
the king of the world quelled fire with fire was 
Phaethon to be denied by his friends. Semele was 
not estranged from her father, Cadmus, because she 
perished through her ambitious prayers. Nor upon 
thy tender face, because I have been smitten by 
Jove's flame, let red shame be spread. But rather 



sed magis in curam nostri consurge tuendi, 

exemplumque mihi coniugis esto bonae, 
materiamque tuis tristem virtutibus imple : 

ardua per pracceps gloria vadit iter. 
75 Hectora quis nosset, si felix Troia fuisset ? 

publica virtutis per mala facta via est. 
ars tua, Tiphy, iacet, si non sit in aequore fluctus : 

si valeant homines, ars tua, Phoebe, iacet. 
quae latet inque bonis cessat non cognita rebus, 
80 apparet virtus arguiturque malis. 

dat tibi nostra locum tituli fortuna, caputque 

conspicuum pictas qua tua tollat, habet. 
utere temporibus, quorum nunc munerc facta est l 

et patet in laudes area lata tuas. 


O qui, nominibus cum sis generosus avorum, 

exsuperas morum nobilitate genus, 
cuius inest animo patrii candoris imago, 

non careat nervis 2 candor ut istc suis, 
5 cuius in ingenio est patriae facundia linguae, 

qua prior in Latio non fuit ulla foro 
quod minime volui, positis pro nomine signis 

dictus es : ignoscas laudibus ipse tuis. 
nil ego peccavi ; tua te bona cognita produnt 
10 si, quod es, appares, culpa soluta rnea est. 
nee tamen officium nostro tibi carmine factum 

principe tarn iusto posse nocere puto. 
ipse pater patriae quid enim est civilius illo ?- 

sustinet in nostro carmine saepe legi, 

1 ficta est vel freta es : facta est Ehwald 
2 numeris *r 

1 Perhaps Messalinus, cf. Ex P. l. 7, ii. 2. 


TRISTIA, IV. in. 71 iv. 14 

rise to the charge of my defence and be thou for me 
the model of a noble wife. Flood a sad theme with 
thy virtues : glory scales the heights by steepest 
paths. Who would know Hector, if Troy had been 
happy ? By public ills was the way of virtue builded. 
Thy skill, Tiphys, lies inert if there be no wave upon 
the sea : if men be in health, thy skill, Phoebus, lies 

79 The virtue which lies hidden and hangs back un- 
recognized in times of prosperity, comes to the fore 
and asserts itself in adversity. My fate gives thee 
scope for fame and provides a chance for thy loyal 
love to raise a conspicuous head. Avail thyself of 
the crisis through whose gift a mighty field has been 
created, open for thy praise. 


O you who through ancestral names have noble 
birth yet surpass your birth in nobility of character, 
whose mind reflects your father's candour yet so 
that it lacks not powers all its own, in whose intellect 
resides the eloquence of your father's tongue which 
no other in the Latin forum has excelled I have 
addressed you not at all as I wished, with symbols 
instead of a name ; do you pardon these praises 
that are all your own. I have been to blame in 
naught, for your virtues are recognized and betray 
you. If you appear to be what you really are I am 
acquitted of fault. 

11 And yet the homage rendered to you by my verse 

cannot, I think, harm you with so just a prince ; even 

the Father of his Country for who is milder than 

he ? submits to frequent mention in my verse, nor 

N 177 


15 nee prohibere potest, quia res est publica Caesar, 

et de communi pars quoque nostra bono est. 
luppiter ingeniis praebet sua numina vatum, 

seque celebrari quolibet ore sinit. 
causa tua exemplo superorum tuta duonim est, 
20 quorum hie aspicitur, creditur ille deus. 

ut non debuerim, tamen hoc ego crimen habebo : 

noti fuit arbitrii littera nostra tui. 
nee nova, quod tecum loquor, est iniuria nostra, 

ineolumis cum quo saepe locutus eram. 
25 quo vereare minus ne sim tibi crimen amicus, 

invidiam, siqua est, auctor habere potest. 
nam tuns est primis cultus mihi semper ab annis 

hoc certe noli dissimulare pater, 
ingeniumque meurn (potes hoc meminisse) probabat 
30 plus etiam quam me iudice dignus eram ; 
deque meis illo referebat versibus ore, 
in quo pars magnae nobilitatis erat. 
non igitur tibi nunc, quod me domus ista recepit, 

sed prius auctori sunt data verba tuo. 1 
36 nee 2 data sunt, mihi crede, tamen : sed in omnibus 


ultima si demas, vita tuenda mea est. 
hanc quoque, qua perii, culpam scelus esse negabis, 

si tanti series sit tibi nota mali. 
aut timor aut error nobis, prius obfuit error. 
40 a ! 3 sine me fati non meminisse mei ; 
neve retractando nondum coeuntia rumpam 4 

vulnera : vix illis proderit ipsa quies. 
ergo ut iure damus poenas, sic afuit omne 
peccato facinus consiliumque meo ; 

1 sed sunt auctori non tua verba tuo 
* non : nee r 8 at 4 rumpe vel rupem 

"" 1 Jupiter and Augustus. "" 


TRISTIA, IV. TV. 15-y 

can he prevent it, for Caesar is the state, and of 
the common good I too have a share. Jupiter offers 
his divinity to poets' art, permitting himself to he 
praised by every mouth. Your case is safeguarded 
by the example of two superhuman beings 1 of whom 
one in men's sight, the other in their belief, is a god. 
Even though I have transgressed duty, yet I shall he 
the one accused, for my letter was not under your 
control. And 'tis no new wrong that I commit in 
speaking with you, for in the time of my security I 
often spoke with you. You need not fear that my 
friendship will be laid as a charge against you ; the 
odium, if there be any, can be assigned to him who 
was responsible. For from my earliest years I 
honoured your father 2 this at least desire not to 
conceal and my talent, you may remember, was 
approved by him even more than in my own judg- 
ment I deserved ; of my verse he used to speak with 
those lips in which lay part of his great renown. 
Not you then, if your house made me welcome, but 
your father before you was cheated Yet cheating 
there was none, believe me, but in all its acts, if 
you except the very latest, my life is worthy of 
protection. Even this fault which has ruined me 
you will say is no crime, if you should come to know 
the course of this great evil. Either timidity or a 
mistake mistake first has injured me. Ah, let me 
not remember my fate ! Let me not handle and 
break open wounds that are not yet closed ! Scarce 
will rest itself relieve them. 

43 So then I am justly paying a penalty, but no act 
or design was connected with my sin. And this the 

2 M. Valerius Messallar if the noble addressed is Messa- 



45 idque deus sentit ; pro quo nee lumen ademptum, 

nee mihi detractas possidet alter opes, 
forsitan hanc ipsam, vivam modo, finiet olim, 

tempore cum fuerit lenior ira, fugam. 
nunc precor hinc alio iubeat discedere, si non 
60 nostra verecundo vota pudore carent. 
mitius exilium pauloque propinquius opto, 

quique sit a saevo longius hoste locus ; 
quantaque in Augusto dementia, si quis ab illo 

hoc peteret pro me, forsitan ille daret. 
65 frigida me cohibent Euxini litora Ponti : 

dictus ab antiquis Axenus ille fuit. 
nam neque iactantur moderatis aequora ventis, 

nee placidos portus hospita navis adit, 
sunt circa gentes. quae praedam sanguine quaerunt ; 
60 nee minus infida terra timetur aqua. 
illi, quos audis hominum gaudere cruore, 

paene sub eiusdem sideris axe iacent, 
nee procul a nobis locus est, ubi Taurica dira 

caede pharetratae spargitur ara deae. 
65 haec prius, ut memorant, non invidiosa nefandis 

nee cupienda bonis regna Thoantis erant. 
hie pro supposita virgo Pelopei'a cerva 

sacra deae coluit qualiacumque suae. 
quo postquam, dubium pius an sceleratus, Orestes 
70 exactus Furiis venerat ipse suis, 

et comes exemplum veri Phoceus amoris, 

qui duo corporibus mentibus unus erant, 
protinus evincti l tristem ducuntur ad aram, 

quae stabat geminas ante cruenta fores. 

1 evict! 

1 Euxinus, " hospitable," Axenos, " inhospitable," cf. 
Tr. in. 13 (end). 


TRISTIA, IV. iv. 45-74 

God realizes, and so life was not taken from me nor 
my wealth stripped away to become the property of 
another. Perchance this very exile, if only I live, 
he will sometime bring to an end when time shall 
soften his wrath. Now I am begging him to order 
me to another place, if my prayer lacks not respect 
and modesty. A milder place of exile, a little nearer 
home, I pray a place farther from the fierce enemy ; 
and such is Augustus's mercy that if one should ask 
this of him in my behalf, it may be he would grant it. 
65 The cold shores of the Pontus Euxinus keep me ; 
by men of old it was called Axenus. 1 For its waters 
are tossed by no moderate winds and there are no 
quiet harbours visited by foreign ships. Round about 
are tribes eager for plunder and bloodshed, and the 
land is not less to be feared than the treacherous 
sea. They whom you hear as rejoicing in men's gore 
dwell almost beneath the axis of the same constella- 
tion as myself, and not far away from me is the place 
where the Tauric altar of the quivered goddess 2 
is sprinkled with the blood of murder. This in 
former times, they say, was the realm of Thoas, not 
envied by the wicked nor desired by the good. Here 
the Pelopian maid, 3 she for whom the doe was 
substituted, cared for the offerings (whatever their 
nature ! 4 ) to her goddess. Hither came Orestes, 
whether in loyalty or crime, I know not, driven by 
his own furies, and his Phocean comrade, 5 the model 
of sincere love ; these twain were a single heart in 
two bodies. Forthwith in bonds they were brought 
to the harsh altar that stood reeking with blood before 

8 The Taurian Diana. 8 Iphigenia. 

* Human sacrifices. & Pylades. 



75 nee tamen hunc sua mors, nee mors sua terruit ilium 

alter ob alterius funera maestus erat. 
et iam constiterat stricto mucrone sacerdos, 

cinxerat et Graias barbara vitta comas, 
cum vice sermonis fratrem cognovit, et illi 
80 pro nece complexus Iphigenia dedit. 
laeta deae signum crudelia sacra perosae 

transtulit ex illis in meliora locis. 
haec igitur regio, magni paene ultima mundi, 

quam fugere homines dique, propinqua mihi est : 
85 aque 1 mea terra 2 prope sunt funebria sacra, 

si modo Nasoni barbara terra sua est. 
o utinam venti, quibus est ablatus Orestes, 
placato referant et mea vela deo ! 


O mihi dilectos inter pars prima sodales, 

unica fortunis ara reperta meis 
cuius ab adloquiis anima haec moribunda revixit, 

ut vigil infusa Pallade flamma solet ; 
5 qui veritus non es portus aperire fideles 

fulmine percussae confugiumque rati ; 
cuius eram censu non me sensurus egentem, 

si Caesar patrias eripuisset opes, 
temporis oblitum dum me rapit impetus huius, 
10 excidit heu nomen quam mihi paene tuum ! 
tu tamen agnoscis tactusque cupidine laudis, 

1 ille ego sum ' cuperes dicere posse palam. 
certe ego, si sineres, titulum tibi reddere vellem, 

et raram famae conciliare fidem. 

1 atque a mcam terram 

1 Augustus. * i.e. when oil is poured upon it. 


TRISTIA, IV. iv. 75 v. 14 

the double doors. Yet neither the one nor the other 
feared his own death : each sorrowed for the other's 
fate. Already had the priestess taken her stand 
with drawn knife, her Grecian tresses bound with a 
barbarian fillet, when in their talk she recognized 
her brother and in the stead of death Iphigenia gave 
him her embrace. In joy she bore away the statue 
of the goddess, who detested cruel rites, from that 
place to a better. 

83 Such then is the region, almost the farthest in the 
vast world, fled by men and gods, that is near me. 
Near to my land if a barbarian land is Naso's own 
are the rites of death. O may the winds which 
bore Orestes away, waft my sails also homeward, 
under the favour of a god 1 appeased ! 


O thou who art foremost among my beloved 
comrades, who didst prove to be the sole altar for 
my fortunes, whose words of comfort revived this 
dying soul, as the flame is wont to wake at the touch 
of Pallas, 2 thou who didst not fear to open a secure 
harbour of refuge for a bark smitten by the thunder- 
bolt ; through whose means I should not have felt 
myself in want had Caesar taken from me my 
inherited wealth while my fervour hurries me on in 
forgetfulness of my present state, how nearly, ah 
me ! have I let slip thy name ? Yet dost thou 
recognize it, and touched by desire for praise thou 
wouldst wish thou couldst say openly, *' I am the 
man/' Surely if thou wouldst permit, I would 
render honour to thee and unite rare fidelity to fame. 



15 ne noceam grato vereor tibi carmine, neve 

intempestivus nominis obstet honor, 
quod licet (et l tutum est) intra tua pectora gaude 

meque tui memorem teque fuisse pium, 
utque facis, remis ad opem luctare ferendam, 
20 dum veniat placido mollior aura deo ; 
et tutare caput nulli servabile, si non 

qui mersit Stygia sublevet illud aqua ; 
teque, quod est rarum, praesta constanter ad omne 

indeclinatae munus amicitiae. 
25 sic tua processus habeat fortuna perennes, 

sic ope non egeas ipse iuvesque tuos ; 
sic aequet tua nupta virum bonitate perenni, 

incidat et vestro nulla 2 querella toro ; 
diligat et semper socius de sanguinis illo, 
30 quo pius affectu Castora frater amat ; 
sic iuvenis similisque tibi sit natus, et ilium 

moribus agnoscat quilibet esse tuum ; 
sic faciat socerum taeda te nata iugali, 

nee tardum iuveni det tibi nomen avi. 


Tempore ruricolae patiens fit taurus aratri, 

praebet et incurvo colla premenda iugo ; 
tempore paret equus lentis animosus habenis, 

et placido duros accipit ore lupos ; 
6 tempore Poenorum compescitur ira leonum, 

nee feritas animo, quae fuit ante, manet ; 
quaeque sui monitis 3 obtemperat Inda magistri 

belua, servitium tempore victa subit. 

1 hoc 2 nulla] rara 8 iussis 


TRIST1A, IV. v. 15 vi. 8 

But I fear that my grateful verse may do thee hurt, 
that the unseasonable honour of renown may stand 
in thy light. This thou mayst do, and 'tis safe : 
rejoice within thine own breast that I have remem- 
bered thee, and that thou hast been loyal, and as 
thou art doing, strain thine oars to bear me aid until 
the god is appeased and a gentler breeze shall come ; 
save a life that none can save unless he who sub- 
merged it lifts it from the Stygian waters, and give 
thyself a rare thing it is to every service of un- 
swerving friendship. So may thy fortune make 
constant progress, so mayst thou need no aid and 
mayst thou aid thine own ! So may thy bride equal 
her husband in constant goodness and no complaint 
befall your union. Mayst thou have also the love 
of him who shares thy blood, such love as his loyal 
brother l feels for Castor. So may thy youthful 
son be like thee and may his character cause all to 
know him as thine own. So may the marriage torch 
of thy daughter make thee a father-in-law and soon 
give thee, still in thy prime, the name of grandsire ! 


By time the peasant's bullock is made submissive 
to the plough, offering his neck to the pressure of the 
curving yoke ; time renders the mettlesome horse 
obedient to the pliant bridle as he receives with 
gentle mouth the hard bit ; time quiets the rage of 
Phoenician lions so that their former wildness abides 
not in their spirits ; the Indian brute, 2 obedient to 
the commands of her master, vanquished by time, 
1 Pollux. The elephant. 



tempus ut extensis tumeat facit uva racemis, 
10 vixque merum capiant grana quod intus habent ; 
tempus et in canas semen producit aristas, 

et ne sint tristi poma sapor e cavet. 1 
hoc tenuat dentem terram renovantis 2 aratri, 

hoc rigidas silices, hoc adamanta terit ; 
15 hoc etiam saevas paulatim mitigat iras, 

hoc minuit luctus maestaque corda levat. 
cuncta potest igitur tacito pede lapsa vetustas 

praeterquam curas attenuare meas. 
ut patria careo, bis frugibus area trita est, 
20 dissiluit nudo pressa bis uva pede. 

nee quaesita tamen spatio patientia longo est, 

mensque mali sensum nostra recentis habet. 
scilicet et veteres fugiunt iuga saepe iuvenci, 

et domitus freno saepe repugnat equus. 
25 tristior est etiam praesens aerumna priore : 

ut sit enim sibi par, crevit et aucta mora est. 
nee tarn nota mihi, quam sunt, mala nostra fuerunt ; 

nunc 3 magis hoc, quo sunt cognitiora, gravant. 
est quoque non nihilum 4 vires afferre recentes, 
30 nee praeconsumptum temporis esse malis. 
fortior in fulva novus est luctator harena, 

quam cui sunt tarda brachia fessa mora. 
integer est melior nitidis gladiator in armis, 

quam cui tela suo sanguine tincta rubent. 
35 fert bene praecipites navis modo facta procellas : 

quamlibet exiguo solvitur imbre vetus. 
nos quoque quae ferimus, tulimus patientius ante 

quam 5 mala sunt longa multiplicata die ! 

1 facit 

2 semoventis ve I scindentis vel patientis : renovantis S~ 
a nunc] sed * minimum 6 quae : quam Ehwald 


TRISTIA, IV. vi. 9-38 

submits to servitude. Time causes the grape to 
swell on the spreading clusters until the berries 
scarce hold the juice within ; time develops the seed 
into white ears of grain and takes heed that fruits 
be not sour. Time thins the ploughshare as it renews 
the soil, it wears away hard flint and adamant ; it 
gradually softens even fierce anger, it lessens grief 
and relieves sorrowing hearts. All things then can 
be weakened by the passing of silent-footed time 
save my woes. Since I have been bereft of my 
native land, twice has the threshing-floor been 
smoothed for the grain, twice has the grape burst 
apart beneath the pressure of naked feet. And yet 
the long time has not given me fortitude ; my mind 
has the sense of a woe still fresh. 

23 Assuredly even aged bullocks often shun the yoke, 
and the well-broken horse often fights the bit. My 
present woe is harsher even than of old, for though 
still like itself, it has grown and increased with time. 
Nor were my evils so well known to me as now they 
are ; now that I know them better, they weigh the 
more heavily. It is something also to apply to them 
strength still fresh and not to have been worn out 
beforehand by the ills of time. Stronger is the fresh 
wrestler on the yellow sands than one whose arms are 
wearied by slow waiting. Unwounded in shining 
armour the gladiator is better than the one whose 
weapons are stained red with his own blood. The 
new-built ship bears well the headlong blast, even a 
little squall breaks up the old one. I too of old bore 
more submissively what I am now bearing. How 
have my woes been multiplied by the lapse of time ! 



crcdite, deficio, nostroque a corpore quantum 
40 auguror, accedunt tempora parva mails. 

nam neque sunt vires, nee qui color esse solebat : 

vix habeo tenuem, quae tegat ossa, cutem. 
corpore sed mens est aegro magis aegra, malique 

in circumspectu stat sine fine sui. 
45 urbis abest facies, absunt, mea cura, sodales, 

et, qua nulla mihi carior, uxor abest. 
vulgus adest Scythicum bracataque turba Getarum ; 

sic me 1 quae video non videoque movcnt. 2 
una tamen spes est quae me soletur in istis, 
60 haec fore morte mea non diuturna mala. 


Bis me sol adiit gelidae post frigora brumae, 

bisque suum tacto Pisce peregit iter. 
tempore tarn longo cur non tua dextera versus 

quamlibet in paucos officiosa fuit ? 
6 cur tua cessavit pietas, scribentibus illis, 

exiguus nobis cum quibus usus erat ? 
cur, quotiens 3 alicui chartae sua vincula dempsi, 

illam speravi nomen habere tuum ? 
di faciant ut saepe tua sit epistula dextra 
10 scripta, sed e multis reddita nulla mihi. 

quod precor, esse liquet. credam prius ora Medusae 

Gorgonis anguineis 4 cincta fuisse comis, 
esse canes utero sub virginis, esse Chimaeram, 

a truce quae flammis separet angue learn, 

1 me] mala a nocent 

3 totiens 4 anguinis 5" 


TRISTIA, IV. vi. 39 vn. 14 

I assure you I am failing, and so far as I can prophesy 
from my bodily strength, but little time remains for 
my sorrows. For I have neither the strength nor 
the colour I used to have ; my thin skin scarce 
covers my bones. My body is sick but my mind is 
worse, engrossed in gazing endlessly upon its suffer- 
ing. Far from me is the sight of the city, far from 
me my beloved friends, far from me she who is dearer 
than all, my wife. Before me is a crowd of Scythians, 
a trousered throng of Getae. Thus what I behold 
and what I do not behold affect me. Yet there is 
one hope that consoles me in all this : my death will 
prevent these ills from enduring long. 


Twice has the sun drawn near me after the cold 
of icy winter, twice completed his journey by touch- 
ing the Fish. 1 In so long a time why has not thy 
hand done its duty and completed even a few lines ? 
Why has thy loyalty failed while they are writing 
with whom I had but slight companionship ? Why, 
whenever I have removed its bonds from some letter, 
have I hoped that it contained thy name ? May the 
gods grant that thou hast often written a letter but 
that not one of the many has been delivered to me. 
My prayer is true, 'tis clear. I'll sooner believe that 
the gorgon Medusa's face was garlanded with snaky 
locks, that there is a maiden with dogs below her 
middle, 2 that there is a Chimaera, formed of a lioness 
and a fierce serpent held apart by flame, that there 

1 The sun enters the constellation of the Fish in February. 
2 Scylla. 



15 quadrupedesque hominis 1 cumpectore pectora iunctos, 

tergeminumque virum tergeminumque canem, 
Sphingaque et Harpyias serpentipedesque Gigantes, 

centimanumque Gyan semibovemque virum. 
haec ego cuncta prius, quam te, carissime, credam 
20 mutatum curam deposuisse mei. 

innumeri montes inter me teque viaeque 

fluminaque et campi nee freta pauca iacent. 
mille potest causis a te quae littera saepe 
missa sit in nostras rara venire manus ; 
25 mille tamen causas scribendo vinee frequenter, 
excusem ne te semper, amice, mihi. 


lam mea cycneas imitantur tempora plumas, 

inficit et nigras alba senccta comas, 
iam subeunt anni fragiles et inertior aetas, 

iamque parum firmo me mihi ferre grave est. 
6 nunc erat, ut posito deberem fine laborum 

vivere, me nullo 2 sollicitante metu, 
quaeque meae semper placuerunt otia menti 

carpere et in studiis molliter esse meis, 
et parvam celebrare domum veteresque Penates 
10 et quae nunc domino rura paterna carent, 
inque sinu dominae carisque sodalibus inque 

securus patria consenuisse mea. 
haec mea sic quondam peragi speraverat aetas : 

hos ego sic annos ponere dignus eram. 
15 non ita dis visum est, qui me terraque marique 

actum 8 Sarmaticis exposuere locis. 

1 homines vel hominum 
8 cum nullo a iactum 


TRISTIA, IV. vn. 15 vin. 16 

are fourfooted creatures whose breasts are joined to 
those of a man, 1 a triple man 2 and a triple dog, 3 
a Sphinx and Harpies and snaky -footed giants, a 
hundred-handed Gyas and a man who is half a bull. 4 
All these things will I believe rather than that thou, 
dear one, hast changed and put aside thy love for me. 
Countless mountains lie between thee and me, and 
roads, and rivers, and plains, and not a few seas. A 
thousand reasons can exist why the letters often sent 
by thee rarely reach my hands. But overcome the 
thousand reasons by writing often, lest I be forever 
making my own excuses for thee, my friend. 


Already my temples are like the plumage of a 
swan, for white old age is bleaching my dark hair. 
Already the years of frailty and life's inactive time 
are stealing upon me, and already 'tis hard for me in 
my weakness to bear up. Now 'twere time that I 
should of right cease my toils and live with no 
harassing fears, to enjoy the leisure that always 
pleased my taste, comfortably engaged in my pur- 
suits, devoting myself to my humble house and its 
old Penates, the paternal fields that are now bereft 
of their master, peacefully growing old in my lady's 
embrace, among my dear comrades and in my native 
land. For such consummation as this did my youth 
once hope ; thus to pass these years did I deserve. 

15 Not so have the gods decreed ; they have driven 
me over land and sea and cast me forth in the region 

1 Centaurs. 8 Geryon. 

Cerberus. * The Minotaur. 



in cava ducuntur quassae navalia puppes, 

ne temere in mediis dissoluantur aquis. 
ne cadat et multas palmas inhonestet adeptus, 1 
20 languidus in pratis gramina carpit equus. 
miles ubi emeritis non est satis utilis annis, 

ponit ad antiques, quae tulit, arrna Lares, 
sic igitur, tarda vires minuente senecta, 

me quoque donari iam rude tempus erat. 
25 tempus erat nee me peregrinum dueere caelum, 

nee siccam Getico fonte levare sitim, 
sed modo, quos habui, vacuos secedere in hortos, 

nunc hominum visu rursus et urbe frui. 
sic animo quondam non divinante futura 
30 optabam placide vivere posse senex. 

fata repugnarunt, quae, cum mihi tempora prima 

mollia praebuerint, posteriora gravant. 
iamque decern lustris omni sine labe peractis, 

parte premor vitae deteriore meae ; 
35 nee procul a metis, quas paene tenere videbar, 

curriculo gravis est facia ruina meo. 
ergo ilium demens in me saevire coegi, 

mitius inmcnsus quo nihil orbis habet ? 
ipsaque delictis victa est dementia nostris, 
40 nee tamen errori vita negata meo est ? 
vita procul patria peragenda sub axe Boreo, 

qua maris Euxini terra sinistra iacet. 
hoc mihi si Delphi 2 Dodonaque diceret ipsa, 

esse videretur vanus uterque locus. 

1 adeniptus. vd adeptas 
2 delphis vd dclphos corr. Scaliger 

1 Gladiators who had finished their service were presented 
with a wooden sword. 


"TRISTIA, IV. vni. 17-44 

of Sarmatia. Battered ships are drawn into the 
hollow docks lest to no purpose they go to pieces 
in the waters' midst. Lest the steed that has won 
many palms should fall, dishonouring his victories, 
lazily now he crops the meadow grass. When the 
soldier after years of service is no longer useful, he 
lays the arms he has borne before the good old 
Lares. In this way, since slow old age is lessening 
my strength, 'twere time for me also to be presented 
with the wooden sword. 1 Twere time for me to 
breathe no foreign air nor slake my parching thirst 
with Getic water, but now to withdraw into the 
retirement of the gardens I once had, now once again 
to enjoy the sight of men and of the city. 

29 Thus with a mind unprophetic of the future did I 
once pray for power to live quietly when old. The 
Fates opposed, for they brought comfort to my early 
years, to the later ones distress. Now after I have 
lived ten lustra unblemished, 2 at a harder time of 
life I am o'erwhelmed ; not far from the goal, which 
I seemed almost to have within my reach, my car 
has suffered a heavy fall. Did I then in my madness 
force him into rage against me who is more gracious 
than anything the wide world possesses ? Has his 
very mercy been overcome by my sins, and yet has 
my error not denied me life ? This life I must pass 
far from my country, beneath the pole of Boreas in 
the land to the left of the Euxine sea. 3 If this had 
been told me by Delphi or Dodona herself, 4 both 
places would have seemed to me unworthy of belief. 

2 Ovid was about fifty when he was banished, c. A.D. 8. 

3 See note on Tr. iv. 1. 60. 

4 Delphi, the oracle of Apollo ; Dodona, the oracle of 

O 193 


45 nil adeo validum est, adamas licet alliget illud, 

ut maneat rapido firmius igne lovis ; 
nil ita sublime est supraque pericula tendit 

non sit ut inferius suppositumque deo. 
nam quamquam vitio pars est contracta malorum, 
50 plus tamen exitii numinis ira dedit. 

at vos admoniti nostris quoque casibus este, 
aequantem superos emeruisse virum. 


Si licet et pateris, nomen facinusque tacebo, 

et tua Lethaeis acta dabuntur aquis, 
nostraque vincetur lacrimis dementia ] seris, 

fac modo te pateat paenituisse tui ; 
5 fac modo te damnes cupiasque eradere vitae 

tempora, si possis, Tisiphonea tuae, 
sin minus, et flagrant odio tua pectora nostro, 

induet infelix arma coacta dolor, 
sim licet extremum, sicut sum, missus in orbem, 
10 nostra suas istinc 2 porriget ira manus. 
omnia, si nescis, Caesar mihi iura reliquit, 

et sola est patria poena carere mea. 
et patriam, modo sit sospes, speramus ab illo : 

saepe lovis telo quercus adusta viret. 
15 denique vindictae si sit mihi nulla facultas, 

Pierides vires et sua tela dabunt. 
quod Scythicis habitem longe summotiis in oris, 

siccaque sint oculis proxima signa meis, 

1 dementia 2 istic vd isto (istuc r) : istinc 

1 Augustus. 

TRISTIA, IV. vin. 45 ix. 18 

45 Nothing is so strong, though it be bound with 
adamant, as to withstand by greater might the swift 
thunderbolt of Jupiter ; nothing is so lofty or reaches 
so far above perils that it is not beneath a god and 
subject to him. For although by fault I drew upon 
me a part of my ills, yet more ruin has befallen me 
because of the wrath of a divine power. But be ye 
warned by my fate also that ye make yourselves 
worthy of the man l who is like unto the gods 1 


If I may and you allow it, I will keep silent your 
name and deed, consigning your acts to Lethe's 
waters, and my mercy shall be won by tears that are 
late in coming, if only you make it clear that you have 
repented, if only through self-condemnation you 
show yourself eager to erase from your life, if but 
you can, that period of Tisiphone. But if not, if 
your heart still burns with hate for me, unhappy rage 
shall don perforce its arms. Though I be banished, 
as I have been, to the edge of the world, from thence 
shall my wrath stretch forth its hands. All my 
rights, if you know it not, Caesar has left me, and 
my only punishment is to be parted from my country. 
Even my country, if only he lives on, I hope as a boon 
from him ; often the oak scorched by the bolt of Jove 
becomes green once more. In fine if I should have 
no opportunity for vengeance, the daughters of 
Pieria will give me strength and their own weapons. 
What though I dwell so far removed on the Scythian 
shores with the constellations that are ever dry close 



nostra per inmensas ibunt praeconia gentes, 
20 quodque querar notum qua patet orbis erit. 
ibit ad occasum quicquid dicemus ab ortu, 

testis et Hesperiae vocis Eous erit. 
trans ego tellurem, trans altas audiar imdas, 

et gemitus vox est magna futura mei, 
25 nee tua te sontem tantummodo saecula norint : 

perpetuae crimen poster! tatis eris. 
iam feror in pugnas et nondum cornua sumpsi, 

nee mibi sumendi causa sit ulla velim. 
Circus adhuc eessat ; spargit iam torvus 5 harenam 
30 taurus et infesto iam pede pulsat humum. 

hocquoque,quamvolui, plus est. cane,Musa,receptus, 
dum licet huic nomen dissimulare suum. 


Ille ego qui fuerim, tenerorum lusor amorum, 

quem legis, ut noris, accipe posteritas. 
Sulmo mihi patria est, gelidis uberrimus undis, 

milia qui novies distat ab urbe decem. 
6 editus hie ego sum, nee non, ut tempora noris, 

cum cecidit fato consul uterque pari : 
si quid id est, usque a proavis 2 vetus ordinis heres 

non modo fortunae munere factus eques. 
nee stirps prima fui ; genito sum fratre creatus, 
10 qui tribus ante quater mensibus ortus erat. 
Lucifer amborum natalibus aflfuit idem : 

una celebrata est per duo liba dies ; 

1 tamen acer 
2 si quid (quis) et a proavis usque est 


TRISTIA, IV. ix. 19 x. 12 

to my eyes, my herald-call shall pass through limitless 
peoples, my complaint shall be known wherever the 
world extends. Whatever I say shall pass to the 
setting sun from its rising and the East shall bear 
witness to the voice of the West. Across the land, 
across deep waters I shall be heard, and mighty 
shall be the cry of my lament. Not alone your own 
age shall know you guilty ; to everlasting posterity 
you shall be a criminal. Already I am rushing into 
battle though I have not yet taken up arms, and I 
would I had no cause to take them up. The arena 
is still quiet, but the grim bull is already tossing the 
sand, already pawing the ground with angry hoof. 
Even this is more than I wished : Muse, sound the 
retreat, while this man still has the power to con- 
ceal his name. 


That thou mayst know who I was, I that playful 
poet of tender love whom thou readest, hear my 
words, thou of the after time. Sulmo is my native 
place, a land rich in ice-cold streams, thrice thirty 
miles from the city. There first I saw the light, and 
if thou wouldst know the date, 'twas when both 
consuls fell under stress of like fate. I was heir to 
rank (if rank is aught) that came from forefathers of 
olden time no knight fresh made by fortune's gift. 
I was not the first born, for my birth befell after that 
of a brother, thrice four months my senior. The 
same day-star beheld the birth of us both : one 
birthday was celebrated by the offering of our two 
1 See Introd. pp. vii if. 



haec est armiferae l festis de quinque Minervae, 

quae fieri pugna prima cruenta solet. 
15 protinus excolimur teneri curaque parentis 

imus ad insignes urbis ab arte viros. 
f rater ad eloquium viridi tendebat ab aevo, 

fortia verbosi natus ad arma fori ; 
at mihi iam puero caelestia sacra placebant, 
20 inque suum furtim Musa trahebat opus. 

saepe pater dixit " studium quid inutile temptas ? 

Maeonides nullas ipse reliquit opes." 
mot us eram dictis, to toque Helicone relicto 

scribere temptabam 2 verba soluta modis. 
25 sponte sua carmen numeros veniebat ad aptos, 

et quod temptabam scribere 3 versus erat. 
interea tacito passu labentibus annis 

liberior fratri sumpta mihique toga est, 
induiturque umeris 4 cum lato purpura clavo, 
30 et studium nobis, quod fuit ante, manet. 
iamque decem vitae frater geminaverat annos, 

cum perit, et coepi parte carere mei. 
cepimus et tenerae primos aetatis honores, 

eque 5 viris quondam pars tribus una fui. 
35 curia restabat : clavi mensura coacta est ; 

maius erat nostris viribus illud onus, 
nee patiens corpus, nee mens fuit apta labori, 

sollicitaeque fugax ambitionis eram, 

1 armigerae 2 conabar 8 dicere 

4 humeros 6 hecque vel deque 

1 Offered to the genius, cf. Tr. iii. 13. 2. 

2 The festival of Quinquatrua (March 19-23), on the last 
four days of which combats occurred. The pott was then 
born on March 20, 43 B.C., when both consuls, Hirtius and 
Pansa, fell in the battles near Mutina, rf. v. 6. 


TRISTIA, IV. x. 13-38 

cakes l that day among the five sacred to armed 
Minerva which is wont to be the first stained by the 
blood of combat. 2 While still of tender age we began 
our training, and through our father's care we came 
to attend upon men of the city distinguished in the 
liberal arts. My brother's bent even in the green of 
years was oratory : he was born for the stout weapons 
of the wordy forum. But to me even as a boy service 
of the divine gave delight and stealthily the Muse was 
ever drawing me aside to do her work. Often my 
father said, " Why do you try a profitless pursuit ? 
Even the Maeonian left no wealth." I was influenced 
by what he said and wholly forsaking Helicon I tried 
to write words freed from rhythm, yet all unbidden 
song would come upon befitting numbers and what- 
ever 1 tried to write was verse. 

27 Meanwhile as the silent-pacing years slipped past 
we brothers assumed the toga of a freer life and our 
shoulders put on the broad stripe of purple while 
still our pursuits remained as before. And now my 
brother had seen but twice ten years of life when he 
passed away, and thenceforth I was bereft of half 
myself. I advanced so far as to receive the first 
office granted to tender youth, for in those days I 
was one third of the board of three. 3 The senate 
house awaited me, but I narrowed my purple 
stripe 4 : that was a burden too great for my powers. 
I had neither a body to endure the toil nor a mind 
suited to it ; by nature I shunned the worries of an 

3 The tresviri, minor officials. See Introd. p. viiL 

4 i.e. he chose to remain a simple knight and refrained from 
the pursuit of offices. 



et petere Aoniae suadebant tuta sorores 
40 otia, iudicio semper amata nieo. 
temporis illius colui fovique poetas, 

quotque aderant vates, rebar adesse deos. 
saepe suas volucres legit mihi grandior aevo, 

quaeque nocet x serpens, quae iuvat 2 herba, Macer. 
45 saepe suos solitus recitare Propertius ignes, 

iure sodalicii, quo 3 mihi iunctus erat. 
Ponticus heroo, Bassus quoque clarus iambis 

dulcia convictus membra fuere mei. 
et tenuit nostras numerosus Horatius aures, 
60 dum ferit Ausonia carmina culta lyra. 
Vergilium vidi tantum : nee avara Tibullo 

tempus amicitiae fata dedere meae. 
successor fuit hie tibi, Galle, Propertius illi ; 

quartus ab his serie temporis ipse fui. 
55 utque ego maiores, sic me colucre minores, 
notaque non tarde facta Thalia mea est. 
carmina cum primum populo iuvenalia legi, 

barba resecta mihi bisve semelve fuit. 
moverat ingenium totam cantata per urbem 
60 nomine non vero dicta Corinna mihi. 

multa quidem scripsi, sed, quae vitiosa putavi, 

emendaturis ignibus ipse dedi. 
tune quoque, cum fugerem, quaedam placitura 


iratus studio carminibusque meis. 
65 molle Cupidineis nee inexpugnabile telis 

cor mihi, quodque levis causa moveret, erat. 

1 nocens vel necet 2 iuvet 3 qni 

1 The Muses. 

2 Or perhaps " melodious," but cf. Ex P. iv. 2. 33, and the 
numeri innumpri of Plautus's epitaph. 

8 Vergil and Tibullus died 19 B.C. 

TRISTIA, IV. x. 39-66 

ambitious life and the Aonian sisters l were ever 
urging me to seek the security of a retirement I had 
ever chosen and loved. 

41 The poets of that time I fondly reverenced : all 
bards I thought so many present gods. Ofttimes 
Macer, already advanced in years, read to me of the 
birds he loved, of noxious snakes and healing plants. 
Ofttimes Propertius would declaim his flaming verse 
by right of the comradeship that joined him to me. 
Ponticus famed in epic, Bassus also, famed in iambics, 
were pleasant members of that friendly circle. And 
Horace of the many rhythms 2 held in thrall our 
ears while he attuned his fine-wrought songs to the 
Ausonian lyre. Vergil I only saw, and to Tibullus 
greedy fate gave no time for friendship with me. 3 
Tibullus was thy successor, Gallus, and Propertius 
his ; after them came I, fourth in order of time. 
And as I reverenced older poets so was I reverenced 
by the younger, for my Thalia was not slow to 
become renowned. When first I read my youthful 
songs in public, my beard had been cut but once or 
twice. My genius had been stirred by her who was 
sung throughout the city, whom I called, not by a 
real name, Corinna. 4 Much did I write, but what I 
thought defective I gave in person to the flames for 
their revision. Even when I was setting forth into exile 
I burned certain verse 5 that would have found favour, 
for I was angry with my calling and with my songs. 

65 My heart was ever soft, no stronghold against 
Cupid's darts a heart moved by the slightest 

4 The heroine of Ovid's Amores. She was probably 
chiefly a creature of his imagination. 

6 Including perhaps the Metamorphoses, r/. TV. i. 7. 13, 
but other copies of that work existed. 



cum tamen hie essem minimoque accenderer igni, 

nomine sub nostro fabula nulla fuit. 
paene mihi puero nee digna nee u tills uxor 
70 est data, quae tempus per breve nupta fuit. 
illi successit, quamvis sine crimine coniunx, 

non tamen in nostro firma futura toro. 
ultima, quae mecum seros permansit in annos, 

sustinuit eoniunx exulis esse viri. 
75 filia me mea bis prima fecunda iuventa, 

sed non ex uno coniuge, fecit avum. 
et iam complerat genitor sua fata novemque 

addiderat lustris altera lustra novem. 
non aliter flevi, quam me fleturus ademptum 
80 ille fuit. matri 1 proxima busta tuli. 
felices ambo tempestiveque sepulti, 

ante diem poenae quod periere meae ! 
me quoque felicem, quod non viventibus illis 

sum miser, et de me quod doluere nihil ! 
85 si tamen extinctis aliquid nisi nomina restat, 2 

et graeilis structos effugit umbra rogos, 
fama, parentales, si vos mea contigit, umbrae, 

et sunt in Stygio crimina nostra foro, 
scite, precor, causam (nee vos mihi fallere fas est) 
90 errorem iussae, non scelus, esse fugae. 

Manibus hoc satis est : ad vos, studiosa, revertor, 

pectora, quae vitae quaeritis acta meae. 
iam mihi canities pulsis melioribus annis 

venerat, antiquas miscueratque comas, 

1 matrix vel matri r 2 restant 

1 A lustrum = five years. 

* The court of the lower world in which Minos, Aeacus, 
and Khadamarithus were the judges. 

TRISTIA, IV. x. 67-94 

impulse. And yet, though such my nature, though 1 
was set aflame by the littlest spark, no scandal became 
affixed to my name. When I was scarce more than 
a boy a wife unworthy and unprofitable became mine 
mine for but a short space. Into her place came 
one, blameless, but not destined to remain my bride. 
And last is she who remained with me till the twilight 
of my declining years, who has endured to be the 
mate of an exile husband. My daughter, twice 
fertile, but not of one husband, in her early youth 
made me grandsire. And already had my father 
completed his allotted span adding to nine lustra l 
a second nine. For him I wept no otherwise than 
he would have wept for me had I been taken. Next 
for my mother I made the offerings to death. Happy 
both ! and laid to rest in good season ! since they 
passed away before the day of my punishment. 
Happy too am I that my misery falls not in their 
lifetime and that for me they felt no grief. Yet if 
for those whose light is quenched something besides 
a name abides, if a slender shade escapes the high- 
heaped pyre, if, O spirits of my parents, report of 
me has reached you and the charges against me live 
in the Stygian court, 2 know, I beg you and you 
'tis impious for me to deceive that the cause of the 
exile decreed me is an error, and no crime. Be these 
my words to the shades. To you, fond hearts, that 
would know the events of my life, once more I turn. 
03 Already had white hairs come upon me driving 
away my better years and mottling my ageing locks ; ten 



95 postque meos ortus Pisaea vinctus oliva 

abstulerat deciens praemia victor eques, 
cum maris Kuxini positos ad laeva Tomitas 

quaerere me laesi principis ira iubet. 
causa meae cunctis nimium quoque nota ruinae 
100 indicio non est testificanda rneo. 

quid referam comitumque nefas famulosque nocentes? 

ipsa 1 multa tuli non leviora fuga. 
indignata malis mens est succumbere seque 

praestitit invictam viribus usa suis ; 
105 oblitusque mei ductaeque per otia vitae 

insolita cepi temporis arma manu ; 
totque tuli terra casus pelagoque quot inter 

oceultum stellae conspicuumque polum. 
tacta mihi tandem longis erroribus acto 
110 iuncta pharetratis Sarmatis ora Getis. 

hie ego, finitimis quamvis circumsoner armis, 

tristia, quo possum, carmine fata levo. 
quod quamvis nemo est, euius referatur ad aures, 

sic tamen absumo decipioque diem. 
115 ergo quod vivo durisque laboribus obsto, 

nee me sollicitae taedia lucis habent, 
gratia, Musa, tibi : nam tu solacia praebes, 

tu curac requies, tu medieina venis. 
tu dux et comes es, tu nos abducis ab Histro, 
120 in medioque mihi das Helicone locum ; 
tu mihi, quod rarum est, vivo sublime dedisti 

nomen, ab exequiis quod dare fama solet. 
nee, qui detractat praesentia, Livor iniquo 

ullum de nostris dente momordit opus. 

1 ipseque 

TRISTIA, IV. x. 95-124 

times since my birth had the victorious rider, gar- 
landed with Pisan olive, borne away the prize, 1 when 
the wrath of an injured prince ordered me to Tomis on 
the left of the Euxine sea. The cause of my ruin, but 
too well known to all, must not be revealed by evi- 
dence of mine. Why tell of the disloyalty of com- 
rades, of the petted slaves who injured me ? Much 
did I bear not lighter than exile itself. I Yet my soul, 
disdaining to give way to misfortune, proved itself 
unconquerable, relying on its own powers. For- 
getting myself and a life passed in ease I seized with 
unaccustomed hand the arms that the time supplied : 
on sea and land I bore misfortunes as many as are 
the stars that lie between the hidden and the visible 
pole. Driven through long wanderings at length 
I reached the shore that unites the Sarmatians 
with the quiver-bearing Getae. Here, though close 
around me I hear the din of arms, I lighten my sad 
fate with what song I may ; though there be none 
to hear it, yet in this wise do I employ and beguile 
the day. So then this living of mine, this stand 
against the hardness of my sufferings, this bare will 
to view the daylight's woes, I owe, my Muse, to 
thee ! For thou dost lend me comfort, thou dost 
come as rest, as balm, to my sorrow. Thou art 
both guide and comrade : thou leadest me fur from 
Hister and grantest me a place in Helicon's midst ; 
thou hast given me while yet alive (how rare the 
boon !) a lofty name the name which renown is 
wont to give only after death. Nor has jealousy, 
that detractor of the present, attacked with malignant 

1 Ten Olympiads, here periods of five years each, c/. v. 78 
and EJC P. iv. 6. 5. The Olympic games were held in the 
district of Pisa in Elis. 



125 nam tulerint magnos cum saecula nostra poetas, 

non fuit ingenio fama maligna meo, 
cumque ego praeponam multos mihi, non minor illis 

dicor et in toto plurimus orbe legor. 
si quid habent igitur vatum praesagia veri, 
130 protinus ut moriar, non ero, terra, tuus, 
sive favore tuli, sive hanc ego carmine famam, 
iure tibi grates, candide lector, ago. 


TRISTIA, IV. x. 125-132 

tooth any work of mine. For although this age 
of ours has brought forth mighty poets, fame has not 
been grudging to my genius, and though I place 
many before myself, report calls me not their inferior 
and throughout the world I am most read of all. If 
then there be truth in poets' prophecies, even though 
I die forthwith, I shall not, O earth, be thine. But 
whether through favour or by very poetry I have 
gained this fame, 'tis right, kind reader, that I 
render thanks to thee. 



Hunc quoque de Gctico, nostri studiose, libellum 

litore praemissis quattuor adde meis. 
hie quoque tails erit, qualis fortuna poetae : 

invenies toto carmine dulce nihil. 
6 flebilis ut noster status est, ita flebile carmen, 

materiae scripto conveniente suae. 
integer et laetus l laeta et iuvenalia hisi : 

ilia tamen nunc me composuisse piget. 
ut cecidi, subiti perago praecoiiia casus, 
10 sumque argument! conditor ipse mei. 
utque iacens ripa deflere Caystrius ales 

dicitur ore suam deficiente necem, 
sic ego, Sarmaticas longe proiectus in oras, 

efficio taciturn ne mihi funus eat. 
15 delicias siquis lascivaque carmina quaerit, 

praemoneo, non est 2 scripta quod i^ta legat. 
aptior huic Callus blandique Propertius oris, 

aptior, ingenium come, Tibullus erit. 
atque utinam numero non nos 3 essemus in isto ! 
20 ei mihi, cur umquam Musa iocata 4 mea est ? 

1 donee eram laetus 

2 nostra vel numquam : non est Oronovius 

3 ne nos * loruta : iocata S~ 




Add this book also to the four I have already sent, 
my devoted friend, from the Getic shore. This too 
will be like the poet's fortunes : in the whole course 
of the song you will find no gladness. Mournful 
is my state, mournful therefore is my song, for the 
work is suited to its theme. Unhurt and happy 
with themes of happiness and youth I played (yet 
now I regret that I composed that verse) ; since I 
have fallen I act as herald of my sudden fall, and I 
myself provide the theme of which I write. As the 
bird of Cayster l is said to lie upon the bank and 
bemoan its own death with weakening note, so I, 
cast far away upon the Sarmatian shores, take heed 
that my funeral rites pass not off in silence. 

15 If any seeks the amusement of wanton verse, I 
forewarn him, there is no warrant for reading such 
verse as this. Gallus will be better suited for such 
a one, or Propertius of the alluring lips, better that 
winning genius Tibullus. And would I were not 
counted among them ! Alas ! why did my Muse 

1 The swans of the Lydian Cayster were believed to sing 
their own dirges. 

P 209 


sed dedimus poenas, Scythicique in finibus Histri 

ille pharetrati lusor Amoris abcst. 
quod superest, animos l ad publica carmina flexi, 

et memores iussi nominis esse mei. 2 
25 si tamen e vobis aliquis tarn multa requiret, 

unde dolenda canam, multa dolenda tuli. 
non haec ingenio, non haec componimus arte : 

materia est propriis ingeniosa malis. 
et quota fortunae pars est in carmine nostrae ? 
30 felix, qui patitur quae numcrare potest ! 

quot frutices silvae, quot flavas Thybris harenas, 

mollia quot Martis gramina campus habet, 
tot mala pertulimus, quorum medicina quiesque 

nulla nisi in studio est Pieridumque mora. 
35 " quis tibi, Naso, modus lacrimosi carminis ? " inquis 

idem, fortunae qui modus huius erit. 
quod querar, ilia mihi pleno de fonte ministrat, 

nee mea sunt, fati verba sed ista mei. 
at mihi si cara patriam cum coniuge reddas, 
40 sint vultus hilares, simque quod ante fui. 
lenior invicti si sit mihi Caesaris ira, 

carmina laetitiae iam tibi plena dabo. 
nee tamen ut lusit, rursus mea littera ludet : 

sit semel ilia ioco luxuriata meo. 
45 quod probet ipse, canam, poenae modo parte levata 

barbariam rigidos eflfugiamque Getas. 
interea nostri quid agant, nisi triste, libelli ? 

tibia funeribus convenit ista meis. 

1 socios : numeros Ehwald * sui 


TRISTIA, V. i. 21-48 

ever jest ? But I have paid the penalty, for in 
the lands of the Scythian Hister he who played 
with quiver-bearing Love is an exile. And besides I 
have turned men's minds to public song and bidden 
them remember my name. Yet if someone of you 
asks why I sing so many grievous things many 
grievous things have I borne. This verse I compose 
not by inspiration, not by art ; the theme is filled 
with inspiration by its own evils. And how small a 
portion of my lot appears in my verse ? Happy he 
who can count his sufferings ! As many as the twigs 
of the forest, as many as the grains of Tiber's yellow 
sands, as many tender grass-blades as the field of 
Mars possesses, so many ills have I endured for which 
there is no cure, no relief save in whiling away my 
time in devotion to the Pierians. 

35 " What limit, Naso, to your mournful song ? " 
you say. The same that shall be the limit to this state 
of mine. For my complaining that state serves me 
from a full spring, nor are these words mine ; they 
belong to my fate. But should you restore to me 
my country and my dear wife, my face would be gay, 
and I should be what I once was. Should uncon- 
querable Caesar's wrath be milder to me, forth wit h 
will I offer you verse filled with joy. Yet no writings 
of mine shall again wanton as once they wantoned ; 
let them have rioted with my jests but once ! I will 
compose something which he will himself approve, 
if only a part of my punishment be removed and I 
escape the barbarian world and the stern Getae. 
Meanwhile what should be the theme of my verse 
except sorrow ? Such is the pipe whose notes befit 
this funeral of mine. 



" at poteras " inquis " melius mala ferre silendo, 
60 et tacitus casus dissimulare tuos." 

exigis ut nulli gemitus tormenta sequantur, 

acceptoque gravi vulnere flere vetas ? 
ipse Perilleo Phalaris permisit in acre 

edere mugitus et bovis ore queri. 
65 cum Priami lacrimis ofFensus non sit Achilles, 

tu fletus inhibes, durior hoste, meos ? 
cum faceret Nioben orbam Latonia proles, 

non tamen et 1 siccas iussit habere genas. 
est aliquid, fatale malum per verba levare : 
60 hoc querulam Procnen Halcyonenque facit. 
hoc erat, in gelido quare Poeantius antro 

voce fatigaret Lemnia saxa sua. 
strangulat inclusus dolor atque exaestuat 2 intus, 

cogitur et vires multiplicare suas. 
65 da veniam potius, vel totos tolle libellos, 

si mihi quod prodest hoc 3 tibi, lector, obest. 
sed neque obesse potest, ulli nee script a fuerunt 

nostra nisi auctori perniciosa suo. 
" at mala sunt." fateor. quis te mala sumere cogit ? 
70 aut quis deceptum ponere sumpta vetat ? 
ipse nee emendo, 4 sed ut hie deducta legantur ; 

non sunt ilia suo barbariora loco, 
nee me Roma suis debet conferre poetis : 

inter Sauromatas ingeniosus eram. 
76 denique nulla mihi captatur gloria, quaeque 
ingeniis 6 stimulos subdere fama solet. 

1 et] hanc 2 cor aestuat 

8 sit (sic) ... si 4 hoc mando 

6 ingenii vel ingenio 

1 When Priam begged for the body of Hector. 

TRISTIA, V. i. 49-76 

49 " But," you say, " you might better endure your 
sorrows by keeping silent, and in silence hide your 
misfortunes." Do you demand that no groans should 
ensue upon torture, and when a deep wound has been 
received, do you forbid weeping ? Even Phalaris 
allowed Perillus within the bronze to utter bellows 
of torture through the mouth of the bull. When 
Priam's tears did not offend Achilles, 1 do you, more 
cruel than an enemy, restrain me from weeping ? 
Though Latona's children made Niobe childless, yet 
they did not bid her cheeks be dry. Tis something 
to lighten with words a fated evil ; to this are due 
the complaints of Procne and Haley one. This was 
why the son 2 of Poeas in his chill cave wearied with 
his outcries the Lemnian rocks. A suppressed 
sorrow chokes and seethes within, multiplying per- 
force its own strength. 

65 Indulge me rather, or else away with all my books, 
if that, reader, which helps me harms you. Yet it cannot 
harm you, for none has suffered hurt from my writings 
save their own author. " But," you say, " they are 
poor stuff." I admit it. Who forces you to take up 
such poor stuff, or who forbids you, when you find 
yourself deceived, to lay it aside ? Even I do not 
revise them, but as they have here been written, so 
let them be read ; 3 they are not more barbarous 
than the place of their origin. Rome ought not to 
compare me with her own poets ; 'tis among the 
Sauromatae that I am a genius ! 

75 In fine I court no renown nor that fame which 
usually sets the spur to talent ; I would not have 

2 Philoctetes. 

8 Perhaps ipse nee emenda, sed, etc., u Do you (the 
addressee) not revise them," etc. 



nolumus assiduis animum tabescere curis, 

quae tamen inrumpunt quoque vetantur eunt. 
cur scribam, docui. cur mitt am, quaeritis, isto l ? 
80 vobiscum cupio quolibet esse modo. 


Ecquid ubi e Ponto nova venit epistula, palles, 

et tibi sollicita solvitur ilia manu ? 
pone metum, valeo ; corpusque, quod ante laborum 

inpatiens nobis invalidumque fuit, 
5 sufficit, atque ipso vexatum induruit usu. 

an magis infirmo non vacat esse mihi ? 
mens tamen aegra iacet, nee tempore robora sumpsit, 

affectusque animi, qui fuit ante, manet. 
quaeque mora spatioque suo coitura putavi 
10 vulnera non aliter quam modo facta dolent. 
scilicet exiguis prodest annosa vetustas ; 

grandibus accedunt tempore damna mails, 
paene decem totis aluit Poeantius annis 

pestiferum tumido vulnus ab angue datum. 
15 Telephus aeterna consumptus tabe perisset, 

si non, quae nocuit, dextra tulisset opem. 
et mea, si facinus nullum commisirnus, opto, 

vulnera qui fecit, facta levare velit, 
contentusque mei iam tandem parte doloris 
20 exiguum pleno de mare demat aquae, 
detrahat ut multum, multum restabit acerbi, 2 

parsque meae poenae totius instar erit. 
litora quot conchas, quot amoena rosaria 3 flores, 

quotve soporiferum grana papaver habet, 

1 istos : isto Heinsius 2 acervi 

3 amoenos hostia vel a. postia 

1 Philoctetes. 

TRISTIA, V. i. 7711. 24 

my soul waste away with continual woes, which 
nevertheless break in upon me, entering where they 
are forbidden. Why I write I have told you. Why 
do I send my writings to you, you ask. I am eager 
to be with you all in some fashion no matter how. 

II. To His WIFE 

What ? When a fresh letter has come from Pontus, 
do you grow pale, do you open it with anxious 
hand ? Put aside your fear : I am well, and my 
frame, which before could endure no toils and had 
no strength, now bears up and under the very 

harassings of experience has become hardened 

or is it rather that I have no leisure to be weak ? 
But my mind lies ill, nor has time given it strength ; 
my feelings remain the same as of old. The wounds 
that I thought would close with passing time pain 
me no otherwise than if they had been freshly made. 
Yes, little troubles are helped by the flight of years ; 
with great ones time but increases the ruin they 
cause. For almost ten whole years the son l of 
Poeas nursed the baneful wound given him by the 
venom-swollen snake. Telephus would have died, 
destroyed by his eternal disease, had not the hand 
that harmed him borne him aid. My wounds also, 
if I have committed no crime, may their maker, I 
pray, desire to heal, and now at length satisfied with 
<a portion of my suffering, may he draw off a little of 
the water from a brimming sea. Though he draw 
much, much bitterness will remain, and a part of my 
penalty will be as good as the whole. As many as 
are the shells on the shore, the flowers in the lovely 
rose gardens, the seeds of the sleep-producing poppy, 



25 silva feras quot alit, quot piscibus unda natatur, 

quot tenerum pennis aera pulsat avis, 
tot premor adversis : quae si comprendere coner, 

Icariae numerum dicere coner aquae, 
utque viae casus, ut amara pericula ponti, 
30 ut taceam strictas in mea fata manus, 
barbara me tellus orbisque novissima magni 

sustinet et saevo cinctus ab hoste locus, 
hinc ego traicerer * neque enim mea culpa cruenta 


esset, quae debet, si tibi cura mei. 
35 ille deus, bene quo Romana potentia nixa est, 

saepe suo victor lenis in hoste fuit. 
quid dubitas et tuta times ? accede rogaque : 

Caesare nil ingens mitius orbis habet. 
me miserum ! quid agam, si proxima quaeque re- 

linquunt ? 

40 subtrahis effracto tu quoque colla iugo ? 
quo ferar ? unde petam lassis solacia rebus ? 
ancora iam nostram non tenet ulla ratem. 
videris 2 ! ipse sacram, quarnvis invisus, ad aram 
confugiam : nullas summovet ara manus. 


45 Adloquor en absens absentia numina supplex, 

si fas est homini cum love posse loqui. 
arbiter imperii, quo certum est sospite cunctos 
Ausoniae curam gentis habere deos, 

decus, o patriae per te florentis imago, 
50 o vir non ipso, quern regis, orbe minor 

1 traicerem vel transigerer * viderit codd. : corr. Ehwald 

TRISTIA, V. n. 25-50 

as many beasts as the forest supports, as many as 
the fishes that swim in the sea, or the feathers with 
which a bird beats the yielding air by so many 
sorrows am I overwhelmed. Should I essay to 
include them all, as well essay to tell the tale of the 
Icarian waters. The dangers of the road, the bitter 
perils of the sea, the hands raised to slay me to say 
naught of these, a barbarian land the most remote 
in the vast world, a place girt by cruel enemies, 
holds me. From here might I pass for my fault 
has no taint of blood if you had the love for me 
which is my due. That god, on whom the power of 
Rome hath found happy stay, to his own enemy hath 
often been a gentle victor. Why hesitate and fear 
what has no peril ? Approach, entreat him ! the 
vast world holds naught more lenient than Caesar. 
Wretched me ! What am I to do if all that is nearest 
abandons me ? Do you too break the yoke and with- 
draw your neck ? W T hither shall I rush ? Whence 
seek comfort for my weary lot ? No anchor now 
holds my bark. You shall see ! Even I, hated 
though I am, will seek refuge at the holy altar ; 
no hands does the altar repel. 

The Suppliant's Prayer 

Lo ! I an absent suppliant address an absent 
deity, if 'tis right for a human being to have power 
of converse with Jupiter. 

47 Lord of the empire, whose safety assures the pro- 
tection of all the gods for the Ausonian race, thou 
glory, thou image of a fatherland that hath success 
through thee, hero not less mighty than the very 



sic habites terras et te desideret aether, 

sic ad pacta tibi sidera tardus eas 
parce, precor, minimamque tuo de fulmine partem 

deme ! satis poenae, quod superabit, erit. 
55 ira quidem moderata tua est, vitamque dedisti, 

nee mihi ius civis nee mihi nomen abest, 
nee mea concessa est aliis fortuna, nee exul 

edieti verbis nominor ipse tui. 

omniaque haec timui, quia me meruisse videbam 1 ; 
tiO sed tua peccato lenior ira meo est. 
arva relegatum iussisti visere Ponti, 

et Scythicum profuga scindere puppe fretum. 
iussus ad Euxini deformia litora veni 

aequoris haec gelido terra sub axe iacet 
65 nee me tarn cruciat numquam sine frigore caelum, 

glaebaque canenti semper obusta gelu, 
nesciaque 2 est vocis quod barbara lingua Latinae, 
Graecaque quod Getico victa 3 loquella sono est, 
quam quod finitimo cinctus premor undique Marte, 4 
70 vixque brevis tutum 5 murus ab hoste facit. 
pax tamen interdum est, pacis fiducia numquam : 

sic hie nunc patitur, nunc timet arma locus, 
hinc ego dum muter, vel me Zanclaea Charybdis 

devoret atque suis ad Styga mittat aquis, 
75 vel rapidae flammis urar patienter in Aetnae, 

vel freta Leucadii mittar in alta dei. 6 
quod petimus, poena est : neque enim miser esse 

sed precor ut possim tutius esse miser. 

1 quoniam . . . videbar 2 -que] quam 

8 vincta vel iuncta 4 finitima . . morte 

6 tutos 6 leucadio . . deo 

1 See Introd, p. xviii. 

TRISTIA, V. n. 51-78 

world thou rulest (so mayst thou dwell on earth and 
heaven long for thee, so mayst thou be late in passing 
to thy promised stars) spare me, I beseech thee, and 
take but the least part from thy lightning's stroke ; 
sufficient will be the penalty that remains. Thine 
anger is indeed moderate, for thou hast granted me 
life, I lack neither the right nor the name of citizen, 
nor has my fortune been granted to others, and I am 
not called " exile " by the terms of thy decree. All 
these things I feared because I saw that I had 
deserved them, but thy wrath is lighter than my sin. 
" Relegated " l didst thou bid me come to view the 
fields by the Pontus, cleaving the Scythian sea in a 
fleeing bark. By thy command I have come to the 
formless shores of the Euxine water this land lies 
beneath the frigid pole nor am I so much tortured by 
a climate never free from cold and a soil ever shrivelled 
by white frost, by the fact that the barbarian tongue 
knows not a Latin voice and Greek is mastered by 
the sound of Getic, as that I am surrounded and hard 
pressed on every side by war close at hand and that 
a low wall scarce gives me safety from the foe. Yet 
peace there is at times, confidence in peace never : 
so does this place now suffer, now fear attack. If I 
may but exchange this place for another, let even 
Zanclaean Charybdis swallow me, sending me by her 
waters to the Styx, or let me be resigned to burn in 
the flames of scorching Aetna or hurled into the deep 
sea of the Leucadian god. 2 What I seek is punish- 
ment, for I do not reject suffering, but I beg that 
I may suffer in greater safety ! 

8 Malefactors were hurled from the cliff near Apollo's 
temple on the Leucadian promontory. 




Ilia dies haec est, qua te celebrare poetae, 

si modo non fallunt tempora, Bacche, solent, 
festaque odoratis innectunt tempora sertis, 

et dicunt laudes ad tua vina tuas. 
6 inter quos, memini, dum me mea fata sinebant, 

non invisa tibi pars ego saepe fui, 
quern nunc suppositum stellis Cynosuridos Ursae 

iuncta tenet crudis Sarmatis ora Getis. 
quique prius mollem vacuamque laboribus egi 
10 in studiis vitam Pieridumque choro, 

nunc procul a patria Geticis circumsonor armis. 

multa prius pelago multaque passus humo. 
sive mini casus sive hoc dedit ira deorum, 

nubila nascenti seu mihi Parca fuit, 
15 tu tamen e sacris hederae l cultoribus unum 

numine debueras sustinuisse tuo. 
an dominae fati quicquid cecinere sorores, 

omne sub arbitrio desinit esse dei ? 
ipse quoque aetherias meritis invectus es arces, 
20 quo non exiguo facta labor e via est. 

nee patria est habitata tibi, sed adusque nivosum 

Strymona venisti Marticolamque Geten, 
Persidaque et lato spatiantem flumine Gangen, 

et quascumque bibit decolor Indus aquas. 
25 scilicet hanc legem nentes fatalia Parcae 

stamina bis genito bis cecinere tibi. 
me quoque, si fas est exemplis ire deorum, 

ferrea sors vitae difficilisque premit. 

1 hederae] me de 

1 The Small Bear. 

TRISTIA, V. in. 1-28 


This is the day, if only I do not mistake the time, 
on which poets are wont to praise thee, Bacchus, 
binding their brows with sweet-scented garlands, and 
singing thy praises over thine own wine. Among 
them, I remember, whilst my fate allowed, oft did I 
play a part not distasteful to thee, but now I lie 
beneath the stars of the Cynosurian Bear, 1 in the 
grip of the Sarmatian shore, close to the uncivilized 
Getae. I who before led a life of ease, toil-free, amid 
studies in the band of the Pierians, now far from my 
country am surrounded by the clash of Getic arms, 
after many sufferings on the sea, many on land. 
Whether chance brought this upon me or the wrath 
of the gods, or whether a clouded Fate attended my 
birth, thou at least shouldst have supported by thy 
divine power one of the worshippers of thine ivy. 
Or is it true that whatever the sisters, mistresses of 
fate, have ordained, ceases wholly to be under a god's 
power ? Thou thyself wast borne by thy merit to 
the citadel of heaven, and the path thither was made 
by no slight toil. Thou didst not dwell in thy native 
country, but all the way to snowy Strymon thou hast 
gone and the Mars-worshipping Getae, Persia, and 
the broad-flowing Ganges, and all the waters that 
the swarthy Indian drinks. Such doubtless was the 
law twice ordained for thee by the Parcae who spun 
the fated threads at thy double birth. 2 I too (if 
'tis right to make comparison with the gods) am 
crushed by an iron and a difficult lot. I have fallen 

8 Bacchus was born prematurely by Semele, and a second 
time after proper nourishment in the thigh of Jupiter. 



illo nee levius cecidi, quern magna locutum 
30 reppulit a Thebis luppiter igne suo. 
ut tamen audisti percussum fulmine vatem, 

admonitu matris condoluisse potes, 
et potes aspiciens circum tua sacra poetas 

" nescioquis nostri " dicere " cultor abest." 
35 fer, bone Liber, opem : sic altera l degravet ulmum 

vitis et incluso plena sit uva mero, 
sic tibi cum Bacchis Satyrorum gnava iuventus 

adsit, et attonito non taceare sono, 
ossa bipenniferi sic sint male pressa Lycurgi, 
40 impia nee poena Pentheos umbra vacet, 2 
sic micet aeternum vicinaque sidera vincat 

coniugis in caelo clara corona tuae : 
hue ades et casus releves, pulcherrime, nostros, 

unum de numero me memor esse tuo. 
45 sunt dis inter se commercia. flectere tempta 

Caesareum numen numine, Bacche, tuo. 
vos quoque, consortes studii, pia turba, poetae, 

haec eadem sumpto quisque rogate mero. 
atque aliquis vestrum, Nasonis nomine dicto, 
50 opponat 3 lacrimis pocula mixta suis, 

admonitusque mei, cum circumspexerit omnes, 

dicat " ubi est nostri pars modo Naso chori ? " 
idque ita, si vestrum merui candore favorem, 

nullaque iudicio littera laesa rneo est, 
65 si, veterum digne veneror cum scripta virorum, 

proxima non illis esse minora reor. 
sic igitur dextro faciatis Apolline carmen : 

quod licet, inter vos nonien habete meum. 

1 altam 2 vacet] caret 8 apponat 

1 Capaneus. 2 i.e. two vines instead of one. 

8 Ariadne. 


TRISTIA, V. in. 29-58 

no more lightly than he l whom Jupiter, for his 
overweening utterance, drove back from Thebes 
with his lightning. Yet when thou didst hear that 
a poet had been smitten by the bolt, remembering 
thy mother, thou mightest have felt sympathy and 
gazing upon the bards about thine altar thou mightest 
have said, " Some worshipper of mine is missing." 

35 Bring aid to me, kind Liber ! So may a second 2 
vine weigh down the elm and the grape-clusters be 
filled with prisoned wine, so may the Bacchae and 
the young vigour of the Satyrs attend thee and may 
their frenzied cries keep not silent thy name ; so 
may the bones of axe-bearing Lycurgus be heavily 
weighed down, nor may the wicked shade of Pentheus 
ever be free of punishment, so may the crow r n of thy 
spouse 3 bright in the sky glitter for ever, surpassing 
the stars close at hand hither come and lighten my 
misfortunes, fairest of gods, remembering that I am 
one of thine own. Gods deal with gods ; do thou, 
O Bacchus, seek to sway Caesar's power divine by 
thine own. Do ye, too, O poets who share in my 
pursuit, loyal throng, take each of you unmixed wine 
and make this same petition. And let someone of 
you, uttering Naso's name, pledge him in a bowl 
mingled with his own tears, and in thought of me, 
when he has gazed around upon all, let him say, 
" Where is Naso, who was but now a part of our 
company ? " and this only if I have earned your 
approval by my sincerity, if no book was ever injured 
by verdict of mine, if in deserved reverence for the 
writings of men of old I yet consider not inferior 
those most recent. As then I pray ye may com- 
pose under Apollo's favour : keep for this is lawful 
my name among you. 




Litore ab Euxino Nasonis epistula veni, 

lassaque faota mari lassaque facta via, 
qui mihi flens dixit " tu, cui licet, aspice Romam. 

heu quanto melior sors tua sorte mea est ! " 
5 flens quoque me scripsit, nee qua signabar, ad os est 

ante, sed ad madidas gemma relata genas. 
tristitiae causam siquis cognoscere quaerit, 

ostendi solem postulat ille sibi, 
nee frondem in silvis, nee aperto mollia prato 
10 gramma, nee pleno fmniine cernit aquam 1 ; 
quid Priamus doleat, mirabitur, Heetore rapto, 

quidve Philoctctes ictus ab angue gemat. 
di facerent utinam talis status esset in illo, 

ut non tristitiae causa dolenda foret ! 
15 fert tamen, ut debet, casus patienter amaros, 

more nee indomiti frena recusat equi. 
nee fore perpetuam sperat sibi numinis iram, 

conscius in culpa non scelus esse sua. 
saepe refert, sit quanta dei dementia, cuius 
20 se quoque in exemplis adnumerare solet : 

nam, quod opes teneat patrias, quod nomina eivis, 

denique quod vivat, munus habere dei. 
te tamen (o, si quid credis mihi, carior illi 

omnibus) in toto peetore semper habet ; 
25 teque Menoetiaden, te, qui comitatus Oresten, 

te vocat Aegiden Euryalumque suum. 
nee patriam magis ille suam desiderat et quae 

plurima cum patria sentit abesse sibi, 
quam vultus oculosque tuos, o dulcior illo 
30 melle, quod in ceris Attica ponit apis. 

1 Ovid. 2 Palroclus. 8 Pylades. 4 Theseus. 

TRISTTA, V. iv. 1-30 


From the Euxine shore have I come, a letter of 
Naso's, wearied by the sea, wearied by the road. 
Weeping he said to me, " Do thou, who art allowed, 
look on Rome. Alas ! how much better is thy lot 
than mine ! " Weeping too he wrote me, and the 
gem with which I was sealed, he lifted first, not to 
his lips, but to his tear-drenched cheeks. 

7 Whoever seeks to learn the cause of his sorrow is 
asking that the sun be shown to him ; he sees not 
the leaves in the wood, the soft grass in the open 
meadow, or the water in the full stream ; he will 
wonder why Priam grieves at the ravishing of Hector, 
why Philoctetes groans after the snake has struck. 
Would that the gods might bring to pass such lot 
for him ! that he had no cause of sorrow to lament ! 
Yet spite of all he bears, as he ought, with patience 
his bitter misfortunes, nor, like an unbroken horse, 
does he refuse the bit. He hopes that not forever 
will the god's wrath endure, aware that in his fault 
there is no crime. Often he recalls how great is the 
god's mercy, of w r hich he is wont to count himself 
also as an example ; for that he retains his father's 
wealth, the name of citizen in fine his very life he 
holds as a gift of the god. 

23 But thee O, if thou belie vest me in anything, 
dearer than all to him thee he holds constantly in his 
whole heart. Thee he calls his Menoetiades, 2 thee 
his Orestes' comrade, 3 thee his Aegides, 4 or his 
Euryalus. He longs not more for his country and the 
many things with his country whose absence he feels, 
than for thy face and eyes, O thou who art sweeter 
than the honey stored in the wax by the Attic bee. 


saepe etiam maerens tempus reminiscitur illud, 

quod non praeventum morte fuisse dolet ; 
cumque alii fugerent subitae contagia cladis, 

nee vellent ictae limen adire domus, 
35 te sibi cum paucis meminit mansisse fidelem, 

si paucos aliquis tresve duosve vocat. 
quamvis attonitus, sensit tamen omnia, nee te 

se minus adversis indoluisse suis. 
verba solet vultumque tuum gemitusque referre, 
40 et te flente suos emaduisse sinus : 

quam sibi praestiteris, qua consolatus amicum 

sis ope, solandus cum simul ipse fores, 
pro quibus affirmat fore se memoremque piumque, 

sive diem videat sive tegatur humo, 
45 per caput ipse suum solitus iurare tuumque, 

quod scio non illi vilius esse suo. 
plena tot ac tantis referetur gratia factis, 

nee sinet ille tuos litus arare boves. 
fac modo, constanter profugum tueare : quod ille, 
60 qui bene te novit, non rogat, ipsa rogo. 


Annuus adsuetum dominae natalis honorem 

exigit : ite manus ad pia sacra meae. 
sic quondam festum Laertius egerat heros 

forsan in extremo coniugis orbe diem. 
6 lingua favens adsit, nostrorum oblita malorum, 

quae, puto, dedidicit iam bona verba loqui ; 
quaeque semel toto vestis mihi sumitur anno, 

sumatur fatis discolor alba meis ; 

1 Ulysses. 

TRISTIA, V. iv. 31 v. 8 

Often too in his grief he remembers that time, which 
to his sorrow was not anticipated by death, when 
others were fleeing the pollution of sudden disaster, 
unwilling to approach the threshold of the stricken 
house, thou with a few others didst remain faithful 
if anybody terms three or two " a few." Though 
sore smitten, yet he realized everything that thou 
not less than himself didst grieve over his misfortunes. 
Thy words, thy face, thy laments he is wont to recall, 
and his own bosom wet with thy tears ; how thou 
didst support him, with what resource thou didst 
comfort him, although thou wert thyself at the same 
time in need of comfort. 

43 For this he assures thee that he will be mindful 
and loyal, whether he behold the light of day or be 
covered by earth, swearing it by his own life and by 
thine which I know he counts not cheaper than his 
own. Full recompense for these many great acts 
shall be rendered ; he will not suffer thine oxen to 
plough the shore. Only see thou dost constantly 
protect the exile ! What he, who knows thee well, 
asketh not, that I ask. 


The year has flown and the birthday of my lady 
exacts its customary honour ; go, hands of mine, 
perform affection 's rites. Thus of old did the 
Laertian hero 1 pass, perhaps at the world's edge, 
his wife's gala day. Let me have a tongue of good 
omen forgetful of my misfortunes (my tongue has, 
I think, unlearned ere now its utterance of propitious 
words !) and the garb that I put on only once in the 
whole year let me now put on the white garb that 



araque gramineo viridis de caespite fiat, 
10 et velet tepidos nexa corona focos. 

da mihi tura, puer, pingues facientia flammas, 

quodque pio fusum stridat in igne merum. 
optime natalis ! quamvis procul absumus, opto 

candidus hue venias dissimilisque meo, 
15 si quod et instabat dominae miserabile vulnus, 

sit perfuncta meis tempus in omne malis ; 
quaeque gravi nuper plus quam quassata procella est, 

quod superest, tutum per mare navis eat. 
ilia domo nataque sua patriaque fruatur 
20 erepta haec uni sit satis esse mihi 
quatenus et non est in caro coniuge felix, 

pars vitae tristi cetera nube vacet. 
vivat, ametque virum, quoniam sic cogitur, absens, 

consumatque annos, sed diuturna, suos. 
25 adicerem et nostros, sed ne contagia fati 

corrumpant timeo, quos agit ipsa, mei. 
nil homini certum est. fieri quis posse putaret, 

ut facerem in mediis haec ego sacra Getis ? 
aspice ut aura tamen fumos e ture coortos 
30 in partes Italas et loea dextra ferat. 

sensus inest igitur nebulis, quas exigit ignis : 

consilio fugiunt aethera, Ponte, 1 tuum. 
consilio, commune sacrum cum fiat in ara 

fratribus, alterna qui periere manu, 
35 ipsa sibi discors, tarnquam mandetur ab illis, 

scinditur in partes atra favilla duas. 
hoc, memini, quondam fieri non posse loquebar, 

et me Battiades iudice falsus erat : 

1 con&iliuni . . . cetera pene corr. Withof 

1 Perilla. * Eteocles and Pol yn ices. 


TRISTIA, V. v. 9-38 

matches not my fate. Let there be made a green 
altar of grassy turf, the warm hearth veiled with a 
braided garland. Give me incense, boy, that pro- 
duces rich flame, and wine that hisses when poured 
in the pious fire. 

13 Best of birthdays ! though 1 am far away, I pray 
thou mayst come hither bright and unlike my own. 
If any wretched wound is threatening my lady may 
she have done with it forever by means of my mis- 
fortunes, and may the bark which but recently was 
more than shaken by a violent blast pass in future 
over an untroubled sea. May she continue to enjoy 
her home, her daughter, 1 and her native land (let it 
suffice that these things have been taken from me 
alone), and in as much as she is not blessed in the 
person of her dear husband, may all the other part 
of her life be free from gloomy cloud. Long life to 
her ! and may she in absence, since to this she is 
forced, love her husband, and pass but late ! to 
the end of her years. I would add my own too, but 
I fear the pollution of my fate would infect those 
which she herself is living. 

27 Naught is certain for man. Who would have 
thought it possible that I should be performing these 
rites amidst the Getae ? Yet look how the breeze 
wafts the smoke that rises from the incense in the 
direction of Italy and places of good omen. Sen- 
tience, then, resides in the vapour thrown off by 
the fire ; designedly it flees thy sky, O Pontus. De- 
signedly, when the common offering is made on the 
altar to the brothers who died by each other's hands, 2 
the very ashes, in dissension as if at their command, 
separate blackly into two parts. This, I remember, 
I once said could not be, and in my opinion Battus' 



omnia nunc credo, cum tu non stultus ab Arcto 
40 terga, vapor, dederis Ausoniamque petas. 
haec ergo lux est, quae si non orta fuisset, 

nulla fuit misero festa videnda mihi. 
edidit haec mores illis heroism 1 aequos, 

quis erat Eetion Icariusque pater. 
45 nata pudicitia est, virtus 2 probitasque, fidesque, 

at non sunt ista gaudia nata die, 3 
sed labor et curae fortunaque moribus impar, 

iustaque de viduo paene querella toro. 
scilicet adversis probitas exercita rebus 
50 tristi materiam tempore laudis habet. 
si nihil infesti durus vidisset Ulixes, 

Penelope felix sed sine laude foret. 
victor Echionias si vir penetrasset in arces, 

forsitan Euadnen vix sua nosset humus. 
65 cum Pelia genitae tot sint, cur nobilis una est ? 

nempe fuit misero nupta quod una viro. 
effice ut Iliacas tangat prior alter harenas, 

Laudamia nihil cur referatur erit. 
et tua, quod malles, 4 pietas ignota maneret, 
60 implerent venti si mea vela sui. 

di tamen et Caesar dis accessure, sed olim, 

aequarint Pylios cum tua fata dies, 
non mihi, qui poenam fateor meruisse, sed illi 

parcite, quae nullo digna dolore dolet. 

1 heroibus corr. Salmasiw a moris : virtus Owen 

8 die] fide * mallem 

1 Callimachus, who must h^ve touched somewhere upon 
this myth. 
1 Andromache and Penelope. 


TRISTIA, V. v. 39-64 

son * was mistaken. Now I believe all, since thou, O 
vapour, hast in wisdom turned from Arctos and 
seekest Ausonia. 

41 This then is the dawn in defect of whose rising 
there would have been no gala day to be seen by 
wretched me. This brought forth a character equal- 
ling those famed heroines 2 whose fathers were 
Eetion and Icarus. Chastity was born on this day 
of thine, virtue and uprightness, and loyalty ; but no 
joys rather woe and cares and a fortune unfitted to 
thy character, and a plaint all but just about thy 
widowed couch. Assuredly uprightness schooled by 
adversity in time of sorrow affords a theme for praise. 
Had sturdy Ulysses seen no misfortune, Penelope 
would have been happy but unpraised. Had her 
husband 8 pressed victoriously into the citadel 4 of 
Echion, perchance Euadne would scarce have been 
known to her own land. Though Pelias had so many 
daughters, why is one 5 only famed ? Doubtless 
because she alone wedded an ill-starred husband. 6 
Let but another be first to touch the sands of Ilium 
and there will be no reason why Laodamia should 
be remembered. Thy loyalty, too, as thou wouldst 
prefer, would remain unknown, if favouring winds 
filled my sails. Yet, O gods and Caesar destined to 
be one of the gods but at that time when thy life 
shall have equalled the days of the Pylian 7 spare, 
not me, who confess that I have deserved a punish- 
ment, but her who grieves albeit she deserves not 

8 Capaneus, * Thebes. * Alcestis. 

6 Admetus. 7 Nestor, 




Tu quoque, nostrarum quondam fiducia rerum, 

qui mihi confugium, qui mihi portus eras, 
til quoque suscepti curam dimittis amici, 

officiique pium tarn cito ponis onus ? 
6 sarcina sum, fateor, quam si non l tempore nostro 2 

depositurus eras, non subeunda fuit. 
fluctibus in mediis navem, Palinure, relinquis ? 

ne fuge, neve tua sit minor arte fides. 

numquid Achilleos inter fera proelia fidi 

10 deseruit levitas Automedontis equos ? 

quern semel excepit, numquam Podalirius aegro 

promissam medicae non tulit artis opem. 
turpius eicitur, quam non admittitur hospes : 

quae patuit, dextrae firma sit ara meae. 
15 nil nisi me solum primo tutatus es ; at nunc 

me pariter serva iudiciumque tuum, 
si modo non aliqua est in me nova culpa, tuamque 

mutarunt subito crimina nostra fidem. 
spiritus hie, Scythica quern non bene ducimus aura, 
20 quod cupio, membris exeat ante meis, 
quam tua delicto stringantur pectora nostro, 

et videar merito vilior esse tibi. 
non adeo toti fatis urguemur iniquis, 

ut mea sit longis mens quoque mota malis. 
25 finge tamen motam, quotiens Agamemnone natum 

dixisse in Pyladen improba verba putas ? 
nee procul a vero est quin et 3 pulsarit amicum : 

mansit in officiis non minus ille suis. 

1 quamvis sine 2 nostro] duro 8 quod non : quin et " 

1 Orestes in the course of his madness. 


TRISTIA, V. vi. 1-28 


Do you too, once the stay of my fortunes, my 
refuge, my harbour do you too dismiss your love 
for the friend you took unto yourself? Do you so 
speedily lay aside the loyal burden of duty ? I am 
a burden, I confess, but one which you should not 
have taken up if you meant to put it off at a 
time unfavourable for me. In the midst of the 
waves, Palinurus, do you desert the ship ? Flee not ; 
let not your faith be inferior to your skill. Did 
Automedon waver in his faith and abandon in the 
fierceness of the fight the steeds of Achilles ? When 
once he had accepted the charge never did Podalirius 
fail to bring to the sick man the promised aid of his 
healing art. Tis baser to thrust forth than not to 
receive a guest : let the altar, once open, be a steady 
support for my right hand. 

15 Nothing but myself alone did you at first preserve ; 
but now preserve alike me and your own judgment, 
if only I have not some new fault and my wrong- 
doings have not suddenly altered your loyalty. May 
this breath which I draw not easily in the Scythian 
air leave my body this is my desire before your 
heart is wounded by sin of mine and I seem deservedly 
cheaper in your sight. 

23 Not so utterly overwhelmed am I by unjust fate 
that my mind also has been unbalanced by my long 
continued woes. Yet suppose it unbalanced how 
many times, think you, Agamemnon's son l uttered 
violent words against Pylades ? Nor is it far from 
truth that he even struck his friend ; yet that friend 
stood fast in his loyalty. This is the only thing in 



hoc est cum miseris solum commune beatis, 
SO ambobus tribui quod solet obsequlum : 
ceditur et caecis et quos praetexta verendos 

virgaque cum verbis imperiosa facit. 
si mihi non parcis, fortunae parcere debes : 

non habet in nobis ullius ira locum. 
35 eMge nostrorum minimum minimumque laborum, 1 

is to, quod reris, 2 grandius illud erit. 
quam multa madidae celantur harundine fossae, 

florida quam multas Hybla tuetur apes, 
quam multae gracili terrena sub horrea ferre 
40 limite formicae grana reperta solent, 

tarn me circumstat s densorum turba malorum. 

crede mihi, vero est nostra querella minor, 
his qui contentus non est, in litus harenas, 
in segetem spicas, in mare fundat aquas* 
45 intempestivos igitur compesce tumores, 4 
vela nee in medio desere nostra mari, 


Quam legis, ex ilia tibi venit epistula terra, 

latus ubi aequoreis additur Hister aquis. 
si tibi contingit cum dulci vita salute, 

Candida fortunae pars manet una meae, 
5 scilicet, ut semper, quid agam, carissime, quaeris s 

quamvis hoc vel me scire tacente potes. 
sum miser; haec brevisest nostrorum summa malorum, 

quisquis et offenso Caesare vivit ? erit. 

1 malorum * illo quo quereris 

3 circumdat (circumdant) : circmnstant r 

4 timores corr. s~ 

1 The garb of the official, bordered with a purple stripe. 

2 The fasces (axes encased in the bundle of rods as a 

TRiSTIA, V. vi. 39 vn. 8 

common between the wretched and the fortunate 
that regard is wont to be rendered to both. We 
make way both for the blind and for those whom the 
praetexta * and the imperious rods 2 with their cries 
make reverend. If you have no consideration for 
me, you ought to show consideration for my fate ; 
in my case there is no room for anger. Choose the 
very least of my woes ; it will be greater than what 
you imagine. As many as are the reeds which hide 
the wet ditches, as many as are the bees which 
flowery Hybla guards, as many as are the ants that 
are wont to carry by tiny paths to underground 
stores the grain they find, so crowded is the throng 
of woes about me ; believe me, my complaint is 
short of the truth. Whoever is not content with 
these, let him pour sands upon the shore, grain ears 
into the field, or water into the sea. Wherefore 
restrain your unseasonable anger and abandon not 
my bark in the midst of the sea. 


The letter which you are reading has come to you 
from that land where the broad Hister adds his waters 
to the sea. If you are blessed with life and the 
sweetness of safety, bright is still one spot in my life. 
Doubtless you are asking, as ever, dearest one, how 
I fare, though this you can know even if I speak not. 
I am wretched this is the brief sum of my woes 
and so will all be who live subject to Caesar's wrath. 

symbol of authority) borne by the lictors who by their cries 
(animadvertite, " give heed 1 ") demanded honour for the 
magistrates. ' 



turba Tomitanae quae sit regionis et inter 
10 quos habitem mores, discere cura tibi est ? 

mixta sit haec quamvis inter Graecosque Getasque, 

a male pacatis plus trahit ora Getis. 
Sarmaticae maior Geticaeque frequentia gentis 

per medias in equis itque reditque vias. 
15 in quibus est nemo, qui non coryton et arcum 

telaque vipereo lurida felle gerat. 
vox fera, trux vultus, verissima Martis 1 imago, 

non coma, non ulla barba resecta manu, 
dextera non segnis fixo dare vulnera cultro, 
20 quern iunctum lateri barbarus omnis habet. 
vivit in his heu nunc, lusorum 2 oblitus amorum, 

hos videt, hos vates audit, amice, tuus : 
atque utinam vivat non et 3 moriatur in illis, 

absit ab invisis et tamen umbra locis. 
25 carmina quod pleno saltari nostra theatro, 

versibus et plaudi scribis, amice, meis, 
nil equidem feci tu scis hoc ipse theatris, 

Musa nee in plausus ambitiosa mea est. 
non tamen ingratum est, quodcumque oblivia nostri 
30 impedit et profugi nomen in ora refert. 
quamvis interdum, quae me laesisse recordor, 

carmina devoveo Pieridasque meas, 
cum bene devovi, nequeo tamen esse sine illis, 

vulneribusque meis tela cruenta sequor, 
35 quaeque modo Euboicis lacerata est fluctibus, audet 
Graia Capheream currere puppis aquam. 4 

1 mortis corr. $~ 

2 nullus eorum vel his nullus tenerorum : nunc lusorum 


TRISTIA, V. vii. 9-36 

9 What the people of the land of Tomis are like, 
amid what customs I live, are you interested to 
know ? Though upon this coast there is a mixture 
of Greeks and Getae, it derives more from the scarce 
pacified Getae. Greater hordes of Sarmatae and 
Getae go and come upon their horses along the roads. 
Among them there is not one who does not bear 
quiver and bow, and darts yellow with viper's gall. 
Harsh voices, grim countenances, veritable pictures 
of Mars, neither hair nor beard trimmed by any 
hand, right hands not slow to stab and wound with 
the knife which every barbarian wears fastened to 
his side. Among such men, alas ! your bard is 
living, forgetful of the loves with which he played : 
such men he sees, such men he hears, my friend. 
Would he might not live, but die among them, and 
yet so that his shade might leave this hated place ! 

25 As for your news that my songs are being pre- 
sented with dancing l in a crowded theatre, my friend, 
and that my verses are applauded I have indeed 
composed nothing (you yourself know this) for the 
theatre ; my Muse is not ambitious for hand- 
clappings. Yet I am not ungrateful for anything 
which hinders oblivion of me, which brings back the 
exile's name to men's lips. Although at times I 
curse the poems whose injury to me I recall, and my 
Pierians, yet when I have cursed them well I cannot 
live without them ; I still seek the weapons that are 
bloody from my wounds, and the Grecian bark that 
but now was shattered by the Euboean waves dares 
to skim the waters of Caphereus. And yet I do not 

1 Probably scenes adapted from the Hero ides, etc., to 
the purposes of ballet and pantomime. 

8 et non corr. Ueinsiux * capharea . . . aqua 



nee tamen, ut lauder, vigilo curamque futuri 

nominis, utilius quod latuisset, ago. 
detineo studiis animum falloque dolores, 
40 experior curis et dare verba meis. 
quid potius faciam desertis solus in oris, 

quamve mails aliam quaerere coner l opem ? 
sive locum specto, locus est inamabilis, et quo 

esse nihil toto tristius orbe potest, 
45 sive homines, vix sunt homines hoc nomine digni, 

quamque lupi, saevae plus feritatis habent. 
non metuunt leges, sed cedit viribus aequum, 

victaque pugnaci iura sub ense iacent. 
pellibus et laxis arcent mala frigora bracis, 
60 oraque sunt longis horrida tecta comis. 
in paucis remanent Graecae vestigia linguae, 

haec quoque iam Getico barbara facta sono. 
unus in hoc nemo est populo, 2 qui forte Latine 

quaelibet e medio reddere verba queat. 
55 ille ego Romanus vates ignoscite, Musae ! 

Sarmatico cogor plurima more loqui. 
en pudet et fateor, iam desuetudine longa 

vix subeunt ipsi verba Latina mihi. 
nee dubito quin sint et in hoc non pauca libello 
60 barbara : non hominis culpa, sed ista loci, 
ne tamen Ausoniae perdam commercia linguae, 

et fiat patrio vox mea muta sono, 
ipse loquor mecum desuetaque verba retracto, 

et studii repeto signa sinistra mei. 
65 sic animum tempusque traho, sic meque 3 reduco 

a contemplatu summoveoque mali. 
carminibus quaero miserarum oblivia rerum : 
praemia si studio consequar ista, sat est. 

1 coner] cogar 2 nemo . . populo] populo vix est 

3 me sicque vel mecumque corr. S" 


TRISTIA, V. vn. 37-68 

work o' nights for praise, toiling for the future life of 
a name which had better have lain unnoticed. I 
busy my mind with studies beguiling my grief, trying 
to cheat my cares. What else am I to do, all alone 
on this forsaken shore, what other resources for my 
sorrows should I try to seek ? If I look upon the 
country, 'tis devoid of charm, nothing in the whole 
world can be more cheerless ; if I look upon the men, 
they are scarce men worthy the name ; they have 
more of cruel savagery than wolves. They fear not 
laws ; right gives way to force, and justice lies 
conquered beneath the aggressive sword. With 
skins and loose breeches they keep off the evils of the 
cold ; their shaggy faces are protected with long 
locks. A few retain traces of the Greek tongue, but 
even this is rendered barbarous by a Getic twang. 
There is not a single man among these people who 
perchance might express in Latin any common words 
whatsoever. I, the Roman bard pardon, ye Muses ! 
am forced to utter most things in Sarmatian 
fashion. Lo ! I am ashamed to confess it ; now 
from long disuse Latin words with difficulty occur 
even to me ! And I doubt not there are even in 
this book not a few barbarisms, not the fault of the 
man but of the place. Yet for fear of losing the use 
of the Ausonian tongue and lest my own voice 
grow dumb in its native sound, I talk to myself, 
dealing again with disused words and seeking again 
the ill-omened currency of my art. 

65 Thus do I drag out my life and my time, thus do I 
withdraw myself from the contemplation of my woes. 
Through song I seek oblivion from my wretchedness. 
If such be the rewards I win by my pursuit, 'tis 




Non adeo cecidi, quamvis abiectus, ut infra 

te quoque sim, inferius quo nihil esse potest. 
quae tibi res animos in me facit, improbe ? curve 

casibus insultas, quos potes ipse pati ? 
6 nee mala te reddunt mitem placidumque iacenti 

nostra, quibus possint inlacrimare ferae ; 
nee metuis dubio Fortunae stantis in orbe 

numen, et exosae verba superba deae. 
exigit 1 a dignis 2 ultrix Rhamnusia poenas : 
10 inposito calcas quid 3 mea fata pede ? 

vidi ego naufragium qui risit 4 in aequora 5 mergi, 

et " numquam " dixi "iustior unda fuit." 
vilia qui quondam miseris alimenta negarat, 

nunc mendicato pascitur ipse cibo. 
15 passibus ambiguis Fortuna volubilis errat 
et manet in nullo certa tenaxque loco, 
sed modo laeta venit, 6 vultus modo sumit acerbos, 

et tantum constans in levitate sua est. 
nos quoque floruimus, sed flos erat ille caducus, 
20 flammaque de stipula nostra brevisque fuit. 
neve tamen tota capias fera gaudia mente, 

non est placandi spes mihi nulla dei, 
vel quia peccavi citra scelus, utque pudore 

non caret, invidia sic mea culpa caret, 
25 vel quia nil ingens ad finem solis ab ortu 

illo, cui paret, mitius orbis habet. 
scilicet ut non est per vim superabilis ulli, 
molle cor ad timidas sic habet ille preces, 

1 exigis vel exiget 2 at dignes 

8 qui * naufragiumqne viros et corr. Mencken 

6 aequore manet : venit He ins tug 


TRISTIA, V. viii. 1-28 


I have not fallen so low, low though I am, that I 
am beneath you too, for beneath you there can be 
nothing. What stirs your spirit up against me, shame- 
less man ? Why do you mock at misfortunes which 
you yourself may suffer ? My woes do not soften you 
and placate you towards one who is prostrate woes 
over which wild beasts might weep, nor do you fear 
the power of Fortune standing on her swaying wheel, 
or the haughty commands of the goddess who hates. 
Avenging Rhamnusia l exacts a penalty from those 
who deserve it ; why do you set your foot and trample 
upon my fate ? I have seen one drowned in the 
waves who had laughed at shipwreck, and I said, 
" Never were the waters more just." The man who 
once denied cheap food to the wretched now eats 
the bread of beggary. Changeable Fortune wanders 
abroad with aimless steps, abiding firm and per- 
sistent in no place ; now she comes in joy, now she 
takes on a harsh mien, steadfast only in her own 
fickleness. I too had my day, but that day was fleet- 
ing ; my fire was but of straw and short-lived. Never- 
theless that you may not fill all your soul with cruel 
joy, not wholly gone is my hope of appeasing the god, 
because my mistake fell short of crime, and though 
my fault is not free from shame, yet 'tis free from 
odium, or because the wide world from the rising sun 
to its setting holds nothing more merciful than him 
whom it obeys. Indeed though no force can over- 
come him, yet he has a tender heart for the petitions 

1 Nemesis, one of whose shrines was at Rhamnus in Attica. 
She detested and punished overweening words and acts. 

R 241 


exemploque deum, quibus accessurus et ipse est, 
30 cum poenae venia plura roganda l dabit. 2 
si numeres anno soles et nubila toto, 

invenies nitidum saepius esse diem, 
ergo ne nimium nostra laetere ruina, 

restitui quondam me quoque posse puta : 
35 posse puta fieri lenito principe vultus 

ut videas media tristis in urbe meos, 
utque ego te videam causa graviore fugatum, 
haec sunt a primis proxima vota meis. 


O tua si sineres in nostris nomina poni 

carminibus, positus quam mihi saepe fores ? 
te canerem solum, meriti memor, inque libellis 

crevisset sine te pagina nulla meis. 
6 quid tibi deberem, tota sciretur in urbe, 

exul in amissa si tamen urbe legor. 
te praesens mitem nosset, te serior aetas, 

scripta vetustatem si modo nostra ferunt, 
nee tibi cessaret doctus bene dicere lector : 
10 hie te servato vate maneret honor. 

Caesaris est primum munus, quod ducimus auras ; 

gratia post magnos est tibi habenda deos. 
ille dedit vitam ; tu, quam dedit ille, tueris, 

et facis accepto munere posse frui. 
16 cumque perhorruerit 3 casus pars maxima nostros, 

pars etiam credi pertimuisse velit, 

1 regenda * petam : dabit Faber 8 perhorreret 


TRISTIA, V. VIIT. 29 ix. 16 

of the timid, and after the example of the gods 
whom he himself is destined to join, with the remis- 
sion of my penalty he will grant me further boons. 
If you count the suns and the clouds throughout a 
year you will find that the day has more often passed 


33 Co f > 

5 So then that you rejoice not overmuch in my ruin, 
consider that even I may some day be restored ; 
consider that, if the prince is appeased, it may come 
to pass that you may be dismayed to see my face in 
the midst of the city, and I may see you exiled for a 
weightier cause. This, after that first wish, is the 
second prayer that I put forth. 


O hadst thou but allowed thy name to be set in 
my verse, how oft wouldst thou have been named ! 
Of thee alone would I have sung in memory of thy 
service ; in my books no page would have been 
completed without thee. My debt to thee would be 
known throughout the city if I, an exile, am still 
read in the city I have lost. Thy kindness the 
present, thy kindness later time would know, if only 
my writings endure age, nor would the accomplished 
reader cease to bless thee ; this honour would abide 
with thee for having preserved a poet. Caesar's 
gift that I draw breath comes first ; after the 
mighty gods it is to thee that I must render thanks. 
He gave me life ; thou dost preserve the life he gave, 
lending me power to enjoy the boon I have received. 
When most men shrank with dread at my fall 
some even would have it believed that they had 



naufragiumque meum tumulo spectarit l ab alto, 

nee dederit nanti per freta saeva manum, 
seminecem Stygia revocasti solus ab unda. 
20 hoc quoque, quod memores possumus esse, tuum 

di tibi se tribuant cum Caesare semper amicos : 

non potuit votum plenius esse meum. 
haec meus argutis, si tu paterere, libellis 

poneret in multa luce videnda labor ; 
25 nunc quoque se, quamvis est 2 iussa quiescere, quin te 

nominet invitum, vix mea Musa tenet, 
utque canem pavidae nactum vestigia cervae 

latrantem frustra copula dura tenet, 
utque fores nondum reserati carceris acer 
30 nunc pede, nunc ipsa fronte lacessit equus, 
sic mea lege data vincta atque inclusa Thalia 3 

per titulum vetiti nominis ire cupit. 
ne tamen officio memoris laedaris amici, 

parebo iussis parce timere tuis. 
35 at non parerem, nisi me meminisse putares. 

hoc quod non prohibet vox tua, gratus ero. 
dumque quod o breve sit ! lumen vitale videbo, 
serviet officio spiritus iste 4 tuo. 


Ut sumus in Ponto, ter frigore constitit Hister, 
facta est Euxini dura ter unda maris. 

at mihi iam videor patria procul esse tot annis, 
Dardana quot Graio Troia sub hoste fuit. 

1 spectaret corr. Heinsius 

2 iam quamvis est vel q. e. iam corr. Naugerus (jT ?) 
8 Thalia] voluntas 4 ipse 

1 Ten years. 

TRISTIA, V. ix. 17 x. 4 

feared it and gazed from a safe height upon my 
shipwreck, extending no hand to him who swam in 
the savage seas, thou alone didst recall me half 
lifeless from the Stygian waters. My very power to 
remember this is due to thee. 

21 May the gods and Caesar ever grant thee their 
friendship ! Prayer of mine could not be fuller than 
this. These things, if thou wouldst permit, my toil 
would place in eloquent books in a bright light to be 
seen of all : even now, though my Muse lias been 
constrained to silence, she scarce refrains from 
naming thee against thy will. As a hound that has 
scented the trail of a timorous hind, baying all in 
vain, is held in check by the unyielding leash, as upon 
the door of the barrier as yet unlocked the eager 
steed frets now with his hoof, now with his very 
brow, so my Thalia, fettered and confined by the 
law thou hast imposed, longs to course o'er the glory 
of thy forbidden name. Yet that thou mayst not be 
injured by the homage of a grateful friend, I will 
obey thy commands, fear not. But I would not 
obey, if thou didst not think me grateful ; this, which 
thy word does not forbid, I shall be grateful ; and 
so long as I behold the light of life and may the 
time be short ! that life shall be a slave to thy 


Since I have been by the Pontus' shore, thrice has 
Hister halted with the cold, thrice has the water of 
the Euxine sea grown hard. Yet already I seem to 
have been absent from my country as many years l 
as Dardanian Troy was besieged by the Grecian 



6 stare putes, adeo procedunt tempora tarde, 

et peragit lentis passibus annus iter. 
nee mihi solstitium quicquam de noctibus aufert, 

efficit angustos nee mihi bruma dies, 
scilicet in nobis rerum natura novata est, 
10 cumque meis curis omnia longa facit. 

an peragunt solitos communia tempora motus, 
suntque l magis vitae tempora dura meae ? 
quern tenet Euxini mendax cognomine litus, 2 

et Scythici vere terra sinistra freti. 
15 innumerae eirca gentes fera bella minantur, 
quae sibi non rapto 3 vivere turpe putant. 
nil extra tutum est : tumulus defenditur ipse 

moenibus exiguis ingenioque loci, 
cum minime credas, ut aves, 4 densissimus hostis 
20 advolat, et praedam vix bene visus agit. 
saepe intra muros clausis venientia portis 

per medias legimus noxia tela vias. 
est igitur rarus, rus qui 5 colere audeat, isque 

hac arat infelix, hac tenet arma manu. 
25 sub galea pastor iunctis pice cantat avenis, 
proque lupo pavidae bella verentur oves. 
vix ope castelli defendimur ; et tamen intus 
mixta facit Graecis barbara turba metum. 
quippe simul nobis habitat discrimine nullo 
30 barbarus et tecti plus quoque parte tenet, 
quos 6 ut non timeas, possis odisse videndo 
pellibus et longa pectora tecta coma. 

1 stantque Housman 
2 litus r] tellus vel tempus vel pontus 

* raptu 4 avis 

6 qui iam corr. Heinsiu* ; cf. qui rus ~ ' quoru 


TRISTIA, V. x. 5-32 

foe. One would think that time stood still, so slowly 
does it move, and the year completes its journey with 
lagging pace. For me the solstice lessens not the 
nights, and winter shortens not the days. In my 
case surely nature has been made anew and she 
makes all things as tedious as my own sorrows. Or 
does time in general run its wonted course, and is it 
rather that the time of my own life is cruel ? For I 
am held by the shore of the false-named Euxine and 
the land, in truth ill-omened, of the Scythian sea. 1 
Countless tribes round about threaten cruel war, 
thinking it base to live if not by plunder. Without, 
nothing is secure : the hill itself is defended by 
meagre walls and by its skilful site. When least 
expected, like birds, the foe swarms upon us and 
when scarce well seen is already driving off the booty. 
Often within the walls when the gates are closed, 
we gather deadly missiles in the midst of the streets. 
Rare then is he who ventures to till the fields, for 
the wretch must plough with one hand, and hold 
arms in the other. The shepherd wears a helmet 
while he plays upon his pitch-cemented reeds, and 
instead of a wolf the timorous ewes dread war. 
Scarce with the fortress's aid are we defended ; and 
even within that the barbarous mob mingled with 
the Greeks inspires fear. For with us dwell without 
distinction the barbarians, occupying even more than 
half of the dwellings. Even should you not fear 
them, you may loathe the sight of their chests 
covered with hides and with their long hair. Even 

1 Sinistra probably has a double meaning here : (1) ** to 
the left " (as one enters from the Bosporus), (2) " ill-omened," 
cf. notes on Tr, iv. 4. 55 and iv. 1. 60. 



hos quoque, qui geniti Graia creduntur ab urbe, 

pro patrio cultu Persica braca tegit. 
35 exercent illi sociae commercia linguae : 
per gestum res est significanda mihi. 
barbarus hie ego sum, qui non intellegor ulli, 

et rident stolidi verba Latina Getae ; 
meque palam de me tuto mala saepe loquuntur, 
40 forsitan obiciunt exiliumque mihi. 

utque fit, in me aliquid ficti, 1 dicentibus illis 

abnuerim quotiens adnuerimque, putant. 

adde quod iniustum 2 rigido ius dicitur ense, 

dantur et in medio vulnera saepe foro. 
45 o duram Lachesin, quae tarn grave sidus habenti 

fila dedit vitae non breviora meae ! 
quod patriae vultu vestroque caremus, amici, 

atque hie in Scythicis gentibus esse queror : 
utraque poena gravis. merui tamen urbe carere, 
50 non merui tali forsitan esse loco. 

quid loquor, a ! demens ? ipsam quoque perdere 

Caesaris offenso numine, dignus eram. 


Quod te nescioquis per iurgia dixerit esse 
exulis uxorem, littera questa tua est, 

indolui, non tarn mea quod fortuna male audit, 

qui iam consuevi fortiter esse miser, 
6 quam quod cui minime vellem, sum causa pudoris, 
teque reor nostris erubuisse malis. 

1 siquidem vel si quid : ficti Owen a et iustum 

1 The original Greek colony of Tomis, cf. Tr. Hi. 9. 3 f. 

2 The text is not certain. I have adopted ficti (Owen). 

TRISTIA, V. x. 33 xi. 6 

these who are believed to derive their descent from 
the Greek city r wear Persian trousers instead of the 
dress of their fathers. They hold intercourse in the 
tongue they share ; I must make myself understood 
by gestures. Here it is I that am a barbarian, 
understood by nobody ; the Getae laugh stupidly at 
Latin words, and in my presence they often talk 
maliciously about me in perfect security, perchance 
reproaching me with my exile. Quite naturally they 
think me somehow pretending 2 whenever I have 
nodded no or yes to their speech. And besides 
unjustly the hard sword dispenses justice, for wounds 
are often given in the midst of the market-place. 

45 Ah ! cruel Lachesis, 3 when my star is so ill-fated, 
not to have granted my life a shorter thread ! That 
I am separated from the sight of my country and of 
you, my friends, that I must lament my abode among 
these Scythian tribes each is a hea*vy penalty. Yet 
I deserved exile from the city ; I did not perchance 
deserve to be in such a place. What am I saying ? 
Madman that I am ! Even my very life I deserved 
to lose by offending the divine will of Caesar. 


Someone by way of insult has said that thou art 
" an exile's wife " of this thy letter complains. I 
was hurt, not so much that my fate is spoken of with 
malice for I am now used to bear my wretchedness 
with fortitude as that I am the cause of shame to 
thee to whom I would wish it least of all, and to think 
that thou must have blushed for my misfortunes. 

8 Lachesis, one of the Fates, spun the thread of life. 



perfer et obdura ; multo graviora tulisti, 

eripuit cum me principis ira tibi. 
fallitur iste tamen, quo iudice nominor exul : 
10 mollior est culpam poena secuta meam. 

maxima poena mihi est ipsum offendisse, priusque 

venisset mallem funeris hora mihi. 
quassa tamen nostra est, non mersa x nee obruta navis, 

utque caret portu, sic tamen extat aquis. 
15 nee vitam nee opes nee ius mihi civis ademit, 

qui merui vitio perdere cuncta meo. 
sed quia peccato facinus non affuit illi, 
nil nisi me patriis iussit abesse focis. 
utque aliis, quorum numerum comprendere non est, 
20 Caesar eum numen sic mihi mite fuit. 
ipse relegati, non exulis utitur in me 

nomine : tuta suo iudice causa mea est. 
iure igitur laudes, Caesar, pro parte virili 

carmina nostra tuas qualiacumque canunt : 
25 iure deos, ut adhuc caeli tibi limina claudant, 
teque velint sine se, comprecor, esse deum. 
optat idem populus ; sed, ut in mare flumina vastum, 

sic solet exiguae currere rivus aquae, 
at tu fortunam, cuius vocor exul ab ore, 
30 nomine mendaci parce gravare meam 1 


Scribis, ut oblectem studio lacrimabile tempus, 

ne pereant turpi pectora nostra situ, 
difficile est quod, amice, mones, quia carmina laetum 

sunt opus, et pacem mentis habere volunt. 
1 mersa] fracta 

1 See Introd. p. xviii. 

TRISTIA, V. xi. 7 xii. 4 

Endure, harden thy heart ; much heavier things 
didst thou bear when the wrath of the prince tore 
me from thee. Yet is that judge mistaken who calls 
me " exile " : a milder penalty befell my fault. My 
greatest penalty consists in having offended Him : I 
would the hour of death had come upon me first ! 
Yet my bark was but shattered, not submerged and 
overwhelmed, and though it is deprived of a harbour, 
yet even so it floats upon the waters. Neither life 
nor property nor civil rights did he take from me, 
although by my fault I deserved to lose all. But 
since no deed accompanied my sin, he ordained 
naught save that I should leave my native hearth. 
As to others, whose number may not be counted, so 
to me Caesar's power was mild. He himself uses 
in my case the term " relegatus," l not exile. My 
cause is secure by reason of him who judged it. 

23 Rightly then, Caesar, do my verses, however 
humble, sing to the best of their power thy praises : 
rightly do I pray the gods to keep their threshold 
still closed to thee, and to will that thou be a god 
apart from them. The people offer the same prayer ; 
but as rivers run into the wide sea, so runs a brook 
with its meagre stream. 

29 But thou, whose lips call me " exile," cease to 
burden my fate with a lying name. 


You write bidding me amuse my tearful hours 
with my pursuit, that my wits be not ruined through 
unseemly sloth. My friend, your advice is hard, 
for verse, being the work of joy, would have the mind 



5 nostra per adversas agitur fortuna procellas, 

sorte nee ulla mea tristior esse potest. 
exigis ut Priamus natorum funere ludat, 1 

et Niobe festos ducat ut orba chores, 
luctibus an studio videor debere teneri, 
10 solus in extremes iussus abire Getas ? 
des licet in valido pectus mihi robore fultum, 

fama refert Anyti quale fuisse reo, 2 
fracta cadet tantae sapientia mole ruinae : 

plus valet humanis viribus ira dei. 
15 ille senex, dictus sapiens ab Apolline, nullum 

scribere in hoc casu sustinuisset opus, 
ut veniant patriae, veniant oblivia vestri, 3 

omnis ut amissi sensus abesse queat, 
at timor officio fungi vetat ipse 4 quietum : 
20 cinctus ab innumero me tenet hoste locus, 
adde quod ingenium longa rubigine laesum 

torpet et est multo, quam fuit ante, minus, 
fertilis, assiduo si non renovatur 5 aratro, 

nil nisi cum spinis gramen habebit ager. 
25 tempore qui longo steterit, male curret 6 et inter 

carceribus missos ultimus ibit equus. 
vertitur in teneram cariem rimisque dehiscit, 

siqua diu solitis cumba vacavit 7 aquis. 
me quoque despera, 8 fuerim cum parvus et ante, 
30 illi, qui fueram, posse redire parem. 

contudit ingenium patientia longa malorum, 
et pars antiqui nulla vigoris adest. 

1 plaudat 2 rei vel sen is 8 nostri 

4 esse : ipse r 5 renovetur vel removetur 

8 currit 7 vacabit corr. r 8 desperc 

1 Socrates. The Delphian Oracle declared that nobo 
was wiser than Socrates. 


TRISTIA, V. xn. 5-32 

at peace. My fate is driven on by hostile blasts ; 
nothing could be more gloomy. You are requiring 
Priam to disport himself at the death of his sons, 
Niobe in her bereavement to lead a gay dance. Is 
it mourning or poetry, think you, that should occupy 
him who was bidden to go alone to the land of the 
distant Getae ? You may give me a heart sup- 
ported by the mighty power which they say he l 
possessed who was accused by Anytus, but wisdom 
will fall with a crash under the mass of such a mighty 
ruin, for the wrath of a god overpowers human 
strength. That famous old man, called a sage by 
Apollo, would have had no power in this misfortune 
to write a single work. Though forgetfulness of 
country should come, though forgetfulness of you 
should come, though all realization of what I have 
lost could leave me, yet very fear forbids the peaceful 
performance of the task, for I dwell in a place girt 
about by countless foes. And besides my talent, 
injured by long neglect, is dull, much inferior to 
what it was before. A fertile field, if it be not 
renewed by constant ploughing, will produce nothing 
but grass and thorns. The horse which has stood for 
a long time will run but poorly and will be last among 
those released from the barrier. 2 Any skiff falls 
into frail rottenness, yawning with cracks, if it has 
been long separated from its accustomed waters. 
For me also feel despair that, little as I was even 
before, I can become once more the man I was. My 
talent has been crushed by my long endurance of 
woes : no part of my former vigour remains. Yet 

2 Before the start of a race the horses were held within 



siqua l tamen nobis, ut nunc quoque, sumpta tabell 


inque suos volui cogere verba pedes, 
35 carmina nulla mihi sunt scripta, 2 aut qualia cernis, 

digna sui domini tempore, digna loco, 
denique non parvas animo dat gloria vires, 

et fecunda facit pectora laudis amor, 
nominis et famae quondam fulgore trahebar, 
40 dum tulit antemnas aura secunda meas. 

non adeo est bene nunc ut sit mihi gloria curae : 

si liceat, nulli cognitus esse velim. 
an quia cesserunt primo bene carmina, suades 

scribere, successus ut sequar ipse meos ? 
45 pace, novem, vestra liceat dixisse, sorores : 

vos estis nostrae maxima causa fugae. 
utque dedit iustas tauri fabricator aeni, 

sic ego do poenas artibus ipse meis. 
nil mihi debebat cum versibus amplius esse, 
60 cum fugerem merito naufragus omne fretum. 
at, puto, si demens studium fatale retemptem, 

hie mihi praebebit carminis arma locus, 
non liber hie ullus, non qui mihi commodet aurem, 

verbaque significant quid mea, norit, adest. 
55 omnia barbariae loca sunt vocisque ferinae, 

omniaque hostilis 3 plena timore soni. 
ipse mihi videor iam dedidicisse Latine : 
nam didici Getice Sarmaticeque loqui. 
nee tamen, ut verum fatear tibi, nostra teneri 
GO a componendo carmine Musa potest. 

scribimus et scriptos absumimus igne libellos : 

exitus est studii parva favilla mei. 
nee possum et cupio non nullos ducere versus : 
ponitur idcirco noster in igne labor, 

1 siqua Bentley] saepe 

TRISTIA, V. xii. 33-64 

if, as now, I have taken up some tablet and sought 
to force words into proper feet, no verses are written 
by me or only such as you see worthy of their 
master's state, worthy of his place. In short desire 
for fame lends no small strength to the mind, love of 
praise makes the heart fertile. Once I was drawn 
on by the glamour of name and fame while the 
favouring breeze bore on my yards. 'Tis not so 
well with me now that I care for renown ; if 'twere 
possible I would have none know of me. 

43 Or is it because at first my verse went well that 
you advise me to write to follow up my success ? 
By your leave, sisters nine, would I say it : you are 
the chief cause of my exile. As the maker A of the 
bronze bull paid the just penalty, so I am paying the 
penalty for my art. I ought to have nothing more 
to do with verse, for once shipwrecked I rightly shun 
every sea. But, forsooth, if I should be mad enough 
to try once more the fatal pursuit, will this place 
afford me the equipment for song ! There is not a 
book here, not a man to lend ear to me, to know 
what my words mean. All places are filled with 
barbarism and cries of wild animals, all are filled 
with the fear of a hostile sound. I myself, I think, 
have already unlearned my Latin, for I have learned 
how to speak Getic and Sarmatian. 

69 And yet, to confess the truth to you, my Muse 
cannot be restrained from composing verses. I write 
poems which once written I consume in the fire ; a 
few ashes are the result of my toil. I have not the 
power and yet I long to compose some verse ; hence 
l Perillus. 

* carmina sunt niihi scripta aut nulla vel carmina scripta 
mihi sunt nulla * hostilis Merkel] possint vel possunt 



65 nee nisi pars casu flammis erepta dolove 

ad vos ingenii pervenit ulla mei. 
sic utinam, quae nil metuentem tale magistrum 
perdidit, in cineres Ars mea versa foret ! 


Hanc tuus e Getico mittit tibi Naso salutem, 
mittere si quisquam, quo caret ipse, potest. 
aeger enim traxi contagia corpore mentis, 
fibera tormento pars mihi ne qua vacet, 
5 perque dies multos lateris cruciatibus uror ; 
sic me non medico 1 frigore laesit hiems. 
si tamen ipse vales, aliqua nos parte valemus : 

quippe mea est umeris fulta ruina tuis. 
quid, 2 mihi cum dederis ingentia pignora, cumque 
10 per numeros omnes hoc tueare caput, 
quod tua me raro solatur epistula, peccas, 

remque piam praestas, sed 3 mihi verba negas ? 
hoc, precor, emenda ! quod si correxeris unum, 

nullus in egregio corpore naevus erit. 
15 pluribus accusem, fieri nisi possit, ut ad me 

littera non veniat, niissa sit ilia tamen. 
di faciant, ut sit temeraria nostra querella, 

teque putem falso non memiriisse mei. 
quod precor, esse liquet : neque enim mutabile robur 
20 credere me fas est pectoris esse tui. 
cana prius gelido desint absinthia Ponto, 
et careat dulci Trinacris Hybla thymo, 
inmemorem quam te quisquam convincat amici. 
non ita sunt fati stamina nigra mei. 

1 sed quod non modico (in inmodico) corr. Ellis. 

2 qui 3 si ; sed s" 

1 The Am amatoria. 

2 The under surface of the leaves is white. 

TRISTIA, V. xii. 65 xni. 24 

my labour is placed in the fire, and nothing but a bit 
of my effort, saved by chance or by craft, reaches 
you. In such wise I would that my " Art," l which 
ruined a master who feared nothing of the kind, had 
been turned to ashes ! 


This " Health " thy Naso sends thee from the 
Getic land, if anyone can send what he himself has 
not. For being sick at heart I drew the contagion 
into my body that no part of me may be free from 
torture ! and for many days I have been tortured 
by an aching side ; thus has the excessive cold of 
the winter injured me. Yet if thou art well, I am 
well in some degree, for my ruin was supported by 
thy shoulders. Why, when thou hast given me 
mighty proofs of love, when thou dost in every fashion 
guard this life of mine, dost thou err in rarely com- 
forting me with a letter, supplying me the fact of 
loyalty but denying rne the words ? Correct this, I 
beg of thee ; if thou amend one thing, there will be 
no blemish on the perfect body. 

16 I should bring more accusations against thee were 
it not possible that though no letter reaches me, yet 
that one has been sent. God grant that my com- 
plaint be groundless that I am wrong in believing 
thou hast forgotten me. What I pray for is true, 
'tis clear ; for it is not right for me to believe the 
steadfast strength of thy heart can change. Sooner 
would the white 2 wormwood fail the icy Pontus, 
sooner would Trinacrian Hybla lack its sweet thyme 
than anyone could convict thee of forgetting a friend. 
Not so black as that are the threads of my fate. But 
s 257 


25 tu tamen, ut possis falsae quoque pellere culpae 

crimina, quod non es, ne videare, cave, 
utque solebamus consumere longa loquendo 

tempora, sermoiii l deficiente die, 
sic ferat ac referat tacitas nunc littera voces, 
30 et peragant linguae charta manusque vices, 
quod fore ne nimium videar diffidere, sitque 

versibus hoc paucis admonuisse satis, 
accipe quo semper finitur epistula verbo 
atque meis distent ut tua fata ! " vale." 


Quanta tibi dederim nostris monumenta libellis, 

o mihi me coniunx carior, ipsa vides. 
detrahat auctori multum fortuna licebit, 

tu tamen ingenio clara ferere meo ; 
6 durnque legar, mecum pariter tua fama legetur, 

nee potes in maestos omnis abire rogos ; 
cumque viri casu possis miseranda videri, 

invenies aliquas, quae, quod es, esse velint, 
quae te, nostrorum cum sis in parte malorum, 
10 felicem dicant invideantque tibi. 

non ego divitias dando tibi plura dedissem : 

nil feret ad Manes divitis umbra suos. 
perpetui fructum donavi nominis idque, 

quo dare nil potui munere maius, habes. 
15 adde quod, ut 2 rerum sola es tutela mearum, 

ad te non parvi venit honoris onus, 
quod numquam vox est de te mea muta tuique 

indiciis debes esse superba viri. 

1 sermone 2 et : ut lleinsius 


TRISTIA, V. xin. 25 xiv. 18 

that thou mayst repel the charge (false though it is) 
of fault, beware of seeming what thou art not. As 
we were wont to pass long hours in converse, till day- 
light failed our talk, so now should our letters bring 
and return our voiceless words, and the paper and 
our hands should perform the office of our tongues. 
Lest I seem to distrust overmuch that this shall be 
so (and may a few lines suffice to have given this 
reminder), receive that word with which every letter 
is ended that thy fate may differ from mine ! the 
word " farewell " ! 1 


What a memorial I have reared to thee in my 
books, O my wife, dearer to me than myself, thou 
seest. Though fate may take much from their 
author, thou at least shalt be made illustrious by my 
powers. As long as men read me thy fame shall be 
read along with me ; nor canst thou utterly pass 
away into the sad pyre. Although thy husband's 
fate* may cause thee to seem worthy of pity, thou 
wilt find some who wish to be what thou art, who in 
that thou dost share my woes, will call thee fortunate 
and envy thee. Not by giving thee riches could I 
have given thee more : nothing will the rich man's 
shade carry to its ghostly realm. I gave thee enjoy- 
ment of an immortal name, and thou hast a boon than 
which I could give none greater. And besides, as thou 
art the sole guardian of my fortunes, an honour of no 
small moment has come to thee, for my voice is never 
silent about thee and thou shouldst be proud of thy 

1 Vale has a double meaning: (H goodbye, (2) " fare you 
well " (literally). (2) explains the clause atque . . , fata 



quae ne quis possit temeraria dicere, persta, 
20 et pariter serva meque piauique iidem. 

nam tua, dum stetimus, turpi sine crimine mansit, 

et tan turn l probitas inreprehensa fuit. 
area de 2 nostra nunc est tibi facta ruina ; 

conspicuum virtus hie tua ponat opus. 
25 esse bonam facile est, ubi, quod vetet esse, remotum 


et nihil officio nupta quod obstet habet. 
cum deus intonuit, non se subducere nimbo, 

id demum est pietas, id socialis amor, 
rara quidem virtus, quam nori Fortuna gubernet, 
30 quae maneat stabili, cum fugit ilia, pcde. 
siqua tamen pretium sibi virtus 3 ipsa petitum, 

inque parum laetis ardua rebus adest, 
ut tempus numeres, per saecula nulla tacetur, 

et loca mirantur qua patet orbis iter. 
35 aspicis ut longo teneat laudabilis aevo 

noinen inextinctum Penelopea fides ? 
cernis ut Admeti cantetur et Hectoris uxor 

ausaque in accensos Iphias ire rogos ? 
ut vivat fama coniunx Phylacei'a, cuius 
40 Iliacam celeri vir pede pressit humum ? 

morte nihil opus est pro me, sed amore fideque : 

non ex difficili fama petenda tibi est. 
nee te credideris, quia non facis, ista moneri : 

vela damus, quamvis remige puppis eat, 
45 qui monet ut facias, quod iam facis, ille monendo 
laudat et hortatu comprobat acta suo. 

1 tanta 2 par (vd per) eadcm : area de Withof 

3 nicrces : virtus Ehwald 


TRISTIA, V. xiv. 19-46 

husband's testimony. That none may think it rashly 
given, stand thou firm ; preserve me and thy loyal 
devotion alike. For thy goodness, whilst I stood 
secure, remained free from accusation's taint, at best 
uncriticized, 1 but now by my fall a space has been 
cleared for thee ; here let thy virtue build a struc- 
ture clear to see. Tis easy to be good when that 
which forbids it has been removed and a wife has 
nothing opposing her duty. When the god thunders, 
not to avoid the cloud that is loyalty indeed, that 
is wedded love. Rare indeed is the virtue not 
piloted by Fortune, which remains on steady feet 
when Fortune flees. Yet whenever virtue is herself 
her own coveted reward and remains upright in 
adversity, though you count all time, she is passed 
over in silence by no age, she is given homage wher- 
ever the world's highway extends. Seest thou how 
Penelope's faith is praised in the long reaches of time 
and how her name never dies ? How Admetus' wife 2 
and Hector's 3 are sung, and the daughter of Iphis, 4 
who dared to mount the lighted pyre ? How the 
wife of the hero 5 of Phylacos lives, whose husband 
touched with his swift foot the soil of Ilium ? I need 
not thy death, but thy love, thy faith ; not by hard 
ways hast thou to seek for fame. Nor believe that 
I am reminding thee because thou art not acting : I 
am but giving sails to a bark that is already using the 
oars. He who reminds thee to do what thou art 
already doing, by so reminding praises thy acts and 
by his very exhortation approves them. 

1 i.e. it was only (tantum) nothing evil that was said of 
you ; now you have a chance to win a positive fame. 

2 Alcestis. 8 Andromache. 4 Evadne. 
5 Protesilaus, whose wife was Laodamia. 




Naso Tomitanae iam non novus incola terrae 

hoc tibi de Getico litore mittit opus, 
si vacat, hospitio peregrinos, Brute, libellos 

excipe, dumque aliquo, quolibet abde loco. 1 
5 publica non audent intra 2 monimenta venire, 

ne suus hoc illis clauserit auctor iter. 
a ! quotiens dixi " certe nil turpe docetis : 

ite, patet castis versibus ille locus ! " 
non tamen accedunt, sed, ut aspicis ipse, latere 
10 sub Lare privato tutius esse putant. 
quaeris ubi hos possis nullo componere laeso ? 

qua steterant Artes, pars vacat ilia tibi. 
quid 3 veniant, novitate rogcs fortasse sub ipsa. 

accipe, quodcumque est, dummodo non sit amor. 
15 invenies, quamvis non est miserabilis index, 

non minus hoc illo triste, quod ante dedi. 
rebus idem, titulo differt ; et epistula cui sit 

non occultato nomine missa docet. 
nee vos hoc vultis, sed nee prohibere potestis, 
20 Musaque ad invitos officiosa venit. 

1 loco] modo 2 inter 3 qui 

1 i.e. a public library. 

2 Most of the Tristia are addressed to individuals who are 
not named. 



NASO, no recent dweller now in the land of Tomis, 
sends to you this work from the Getic shore. If you 
have leisure, entertain and harbour, Brutus, these 
poems from a foreign land ; hide them away where 
you will, yet somewhere. They venture not to enter 
a public memorial 1 for fear their master has closed 
for them this way. Ah, how often have I said, 
" Surely you give no base instruction ! Go ! Clean 
verse may freely enter that place ! " Yet these 
verses go not thither, but as you see they deem it 
safer to lie in the seclusion of a private household. 
Do you ask where you can lay them without injuring 
anybody ? Where once stood my " Art " there you 
have a vacant space. 

13 What they come for, perchance you may ask 
while their novelty is still fresh. Take them, what- 
ever it is, so only it be not love. You will find, though 
the title implies no sorrow, that this work is not less 
sad than that which I sent before in theme the 
same, in title different, and each epistle reveals the 
recipient without concealing his name. 2 You are all 
averse to this but cannot prevent it ; my Muse comes 
to you with homage even against your will. What- 



quicquid id est, adiunge meis. nihil impedit ortos 

exule servatis legibus urbe frui. 
quod metuas non est. Antoni scripta leguntur, 

doctus et in promptu scrinia l Brutus habet. 
25 nee me nominibus furiosus confero tantis : 

saeva deos contra non tamen arma tuli. 
denique Caesareo, quod non desiderat ipse, 

non caret e nostris ullus honore liber, 
si dubitas de me, laudes admitte deorum, 
30 et carmen dempto nomine sume meum. 
adiuvat in bello pacatae ramus olivae : 

proderit auctorem pacis habere nihil ? 
cum foret Aeneae cervix subiecta parenti, 

dicitur ipsa viro flamma dedisse viam : 
35 fert liber Aeneaden, et non iter omne patebit ? 

at patriae pater hie, ipsius ille fuit. 
ecquis ita est audax, ut limine cogat abire 

iactantem Pharia tinnula sistra manu ? 
ante deum Matrem cornu tibicen adunco 
40 cum canit, exiguae quis stipis aera negat ? 
scimus ab imperio fieri nil tale Dianae : 

unde tamen vivat, vaticinator habet. 
ipsa movent animos superorum numina nostros, 

turpe nee est tali credulitate capi. 
45 en ego pro sistro Phrygiique foramine buxi 

gentis luleae nomina sancta fero. 

1 scrinia] carmina 

1 M. Junius Brutus, the conspirator. 

2 Augustus prided himself on restoring and maintaining 
peace. 8 Anchises. 

4 i.e. Augustus, who is borne by Ovid's book, is as father 
of his country much more important than Anchises, who 
was father only of the man who bore him. 

8 The sistrum was an instrument used in the worship of 

EX PONTO, I. i. 21-46 

ever it be then, add it to my writings. Nothing 
hinders an exile's offspring, if they observe the law, 
from enjoying the city. There is naught for you 
to fear ; Antony's writings are still read, and the 
accomplished Brutus l finds book-cases in readiness 
for him. I am not so mad as to compare myself 
with such great names, yet I have borne no hostile 
arms against the gods. In fine Caesar, though he 
needs it not, lacks not homage in any book of mine. 
If about me you doubt, admit a eulogy of the gods : 
receive my song after removing the name. In war 
the peaceful olive branch is useful ; shall it profit me 
nothing that my song contains the author of peace 2 ? 
When Aeneas bore a father 3 upon his shoulders, 
the very flames, they say, made a path for the hero. 
If a book bears upon its pages the descendant of 
Aeneas, shall not every path be open to it ? Yet 
the one is father of his country, the other only of 
his bearer ! 4 

37 Is there any so brazen as to force from his door 
one who shakes the ringing sistra 5 of Pharos in his 
hand ? When before the mother 6 of the gods the 
piper plays upon his curved horn, who denies him a 
few coppers ? No such thing 7 results, we know, by 
Diana's command, yet the prophet has the where- 
withal to live. The very power of the celestials stirs 
our hearts and there is nothing disgraceful in yielding 
to such credulity. Lo, I, in place of sistrum or 
hollow shaft of Phrygian boxwood, come bearing the 

Isis which made a sharp metallic click. Pharos, an island 
near Alexandria, represents this Egyptian cult. 

8 Cybele. 

7 i.e. as that alms should be given to prophets (perhaps 
at Diana's temple at Aricia). 



vaticinor moneoque. locum date sacra ferenti ! 

non mihi, sed magno poscitur ille deo. 
nee quia vel merui vel sensi principis iram, 
50 a nobis ipsum l nolle putate coli. 

vidi ego linigerae 2 numen violasse fatentem 

Isidis Isiacos ante sedere focos. 
alter, ob huic similem privatus lumine culpam, 

clamabat media se meruisse via. 
55 talia caelestes fieri praeconia gaudent, 

ut sua quid valeant numina teste probent. 
saepe levant poenas ereptaque lumina reddunt, 

cum bene peccati paenituisse vident. 
paenitet, o ! si quid rniserorum creditur ulli, 
60 paenitet, et facto torqueor ipse meo. 

cumque sit exilium, magis est mihi culpa dolori ; 

estque pati poenam, quam meruisse, minus, 
ut mihi di faveant, quibus est manifestior ipse, 

poena potest demi, culpa perennis erit. 
65 mors faciet certe, ne sim, cum venerit, exul : 

ut 3 non peccarim mors quoque non faciet. 
non igitur mirum, si mens mea tabida facta 

de nive manantis more liquescit aquae, 
estur ut occulta vitiata teredine navis, 
70 aequorei scopulos ut cavat unda salis, 
roditur ut scabra positum robigine ferrum 

conditus ut tineae carpitur ore liber, 
sic mea perpetuos curarum pectora morsus, 

fine quibus nullo conficiantur, habent. 

1 ipsum] ilium 2 lanigerae 

8 nee vel ne : ut C a Owen 

1 The form is a complimentary reference to the descent 
of the Julii from lulus, son of Aeneas, cf. Ex P. ii. 5. 49. 

2 A mollusk which weakens timber by boring holes in it. 

EX PONTO, I. i. 47-74 

holy names of the lulean 1 race. I am a prophet, a 
monitor ! Give place to one who bears holy objects ! 
Not by me, but by a mighty god that place is claimed. 
Because I have earned or felt the Prince's wrath, do 
not suppose that I would not worship the Prince him- 
self. I have seen one who confessed to have out- 
raged the deity of linen-wearing Isis sitting before 
Isis's shrine. Another bereft of sight for a like cause 
was crying out in the midst of the street that he had 
deserved it. The gods rejoice in such heraldings that 
witnesses may attest their power. Often do they 
mitigate penalties and restore the sight they have 
taken away when they behold sincere repentance for 
sin. I too repent ! O, if any wretched man is 
believed in anything, I too repent ! I feel the 
torture of my own deed ! Though exile is anguish, 
greater anguish is my fault and it is a smaller thing 
to suffer the punishment than to have deserved it. 
What though the gods and he who is more con- 
spicuous than the gods should favour me, my punish- 
ment can be removed, my fault will remain forever. 
Death at least by his coming will put an end to my 
exile, my sin even death will not remove. 

67 'Tis then no marvel if my heart has softened and 
melts as water runs from snow. It is gnawed as a 
ship is injured by the hidden borer, 2 as the briny sea 
water hollows out the crags, as stored iron is eaten 
by corroding rust, as the book when laid away is 
nibbled by the worm's teeth, so my heart feels the 
constant gnawing of sorrow which will finish its work 



75 nee prius hi mentem stimuli quam vita relinquet, 

quique dolet, citius quam dolor ipse, cadet, 
hoc mihi si superi, quorum sumus omnia, credent, 1 

forsitan exigua dignus habebor ope, 
inque locum Soythico vacuum mu tabor ab arcu. 
80 plus isto, duri, si precer, oris ero. 


Maxime, qui tanti mensuram nominis imples, 

et geminas animi nobilitate genus, 
qui nasci ut posses, quamvis cecidere trecenti, 

non omnes Fabios abstulit una dies, 
5 forsitan haec a quo mittatur epistula quaeras, 

quisque loquar tecum, certior esse velis. 
ei mihi, quid faciam ? vereor ne nomine lecto 

durus et aversa cetera mente legas. 
videris. 2 audebo 3 tibi me scripsisse fateri 

10 , , . . 4 

qui, cum me poena dignum graviore fuisse 

confitear, possum vix graviora pati. 
hostibus in mediis interque pericula versor, 

tamquam cum patria pax sit adempta mihi : 
15 qui, mortis saevo geminent ut vulnere causas, 

omnia vipereo spicula felle linunt. 
his eques instructus perterrita moenia lustrat 

more lupi clausas circueuntis oves : 
et 5 semel intentus nervo levis arcus equino 
20 vincula semper habens inresoluta manet. 
tecta rigent fixis veluti velata 6 sagittis, 

portaque vix firma summovet arma sera. 

1 credant 2 viderit corr. Hetnsius 

8 audebo] haec siquis 4 om. AC : spuria habent celt. 

6 at 6 vallata 


EX PONTO, I. i. 75ii. 22 

never ! These stings will not leave my mind 
sooner than life ; he who suffers will perish more 
quickly than the suffering itself. If the celestials, 
to whom in all things I belong, believe me in this, 
perchance I shall be deemed worthy of a little succour 
and they will change my abode to one free from the 
Scythian bow ; should I pray for more than that, my 
lips will be bold indeed. 


Maximus, you who fill out the measure of a mighty 
name doubling nobility of birth by that of soul, you 
for whose birth, though three hundred fell, one day 
did not destroy all the Fabii * perchance you may 
ask by whom this letter is sent and wish to be told 
who am I that talk with you. Ah me ! what am I 
to do ? I fear that when you read the name you will 

Cv stern and read what remains with heart averse, 
k you to that. I shall venture the confession 
that I have written to you. ... I, who admitting 
that I have deserved a worse punishment, can scarce 
endure one worse. I live in the midst of enemies, 
in the midst of perils as if, with my native land, 
peace had been taken from me enemies who, to 
double with a cruel wound the causes of death, smear 
every dart with viper's gall. Equipped with these 
the horseman circles the frightened walls as a wolf 
runs about the fenced sheep. The light bow once 
bent with its horsehair string remains with its bonds 
ever unrelaxed. The roofs bristle with implanted 
arrows as if shrouded in a veil, and the gate scarce 
repels attack with sturdy bar. 

1 In a battle with the Veientes, more than 300 Fabii are 
said to have fought, and only one escaped, cf. Livy ii. 48. 



adde loci faciem nee fronde nee arbore tecti. 1 

et quod iners hiemi continuatur hiems. 
25 hie me pugnantem cum frigore cumque sagittis 

cumque meo fato quarta fatigat hiems. 
fine carent lacrimae, nisi cum stupor obstitit illis : 

et similis morti pectora torpor habet. 
felicem Nioben, quamvis tot funera vidit, 
30 quae posuit sensum saxea facta malis ! 
vos quoque felices, quarum clamantia fratrem 

cortice velavit populus ora novo ! 
ille ego sum, lignum qui non admittar in ullum : 

ille ego sum, frustra qui lapis esse velim. 
35 ipsa Medusa oculis veniat licet obvia nostris, 

amittet vires ipsa Medusa suas. 
vivimus ut numquam sensu careamus arnaro, 

et gravior longa fit mea poena mora. 
sic inconsumptum Tityi semperque renascens 
40 non perit, ut possit saepe perire, iecur. 

at, puto, cum requies medicinaque publica curae 

somnus adest, solitis nox venit orba malis. 
somnia me terrent veros imitantia casus, 

et vigilant sensus in mea damria mei. 
45 aut ego Sarmaticas videor vitare sagittas, 

aut dare captivas ad fera vincla manus. 
aut ubi decipior melioris imagine soinni, 

aspicio patriae tecta relicta meae. 
et modo vobiscum, quos sum veneratus, aniici, 
50 et modo cum cara coniuge multa loquor. 

sic ubi percepta est brevis et non vera voluptas, 

peior ab admonitu fit status iste boni. 
sive dies igitur caput hoc miserabile cernit, 

sive pruiriosi Noctis aguntur equi, 

* laeti 

1 The sisters of Phaethun. 

EX PONTO, I. n. 23-54 

23 Add to this the aspect of a land protected by 
neither leaf nor tree, and that lifeless winter without 
break runs into winter. Here am I fighting with 
cold, with arrows, with my own fate, in the weariness 
of the fourth winter. My tears are limitless save 
when a lethargy checks them, and a deathlike stupor 
possesses my breast. Happy Niobe, though she saw 
so many deaths, for she lost sensation when she was 
turned to stone by her misfortunes. Happy you l 
also whose lips, in the act of calling upon your brother, 
the poplar clothed with new bark. I am one who 
am transformed into no wood, I am one who in vain 
wish to be a stone. Should Medusa herself come 
before my eyes, even Medusa will lose her power. 
My life is such that I never lose the bitterness of 
sensation and my punishment becomes worse through 
its long duration. So Tityus's liver unconsumed and 
ever growing anew perishes not, in order that it may 
have the power to be ever perishing. 

41 " But," I suppose, " when rest and sleep, the 
common healer of cares, attend me, night comes free 
from the usual woes ! " Dreams affright me that 
mimic real dangers, and my senses wake to my own 
hurt. Either I think myself avoiding Sarmatian 
arrows or offering a captive's hands to cruel bonds or, 
when I am beguiled by the semblance of a happier 
dream, I behold the buildings of the native city I 
have left, I hold long converse now with you, my 
friends, whom I once revered, now with my dear wife. 
Thus when I have had this short and unreal joy, 
the remembrance of happiness renders this state of 
mine all the worse. 

63 So whether day beholds this wretched being or 

whether Night is driving her frosty steeds, my heart 

T 273 


65 sic mea perpetuis liquefiunt l pectora curis, 

ignibus admotis ut nova cera solet. 
saepe precor mortem, mortem quoque deprecor idem, 

ne mea Sarmaticum contegat ossa solum. 
cum subit Augusti quae sit dementia, credo 
60 mollia naufragiis litora posse dari. 

cum video quam sint mea fata tenacia, frangor, 

spesque levis magno victa timore cadit. 
nee tamen ulterius quicquam sperove precorve, 

quam male mutato posse carere loco. 
65 aut hoc, aut nihil est, pro me temptare modeste 

gratia quod salvo vestra pudore queat. 
suscipe, Romanae facundia, Maxime, linguae, 

difficilis causae mite patrocinium. 
est mala, confiteor, sed te bona fiet agente, 
70 lenia pro misera fac modo verba fuga. 

nescit enim Caesar, quamvis deus omnia norit, 

ultimus hie qua sit condicione locus, 
magna tenent illud numen molimina rerum : 

haec est caelesti pectore cura minor. 
75 nee vacat, in qua sint positi regione Tomitae, 

quaerere, finitimo vix loca nota Getae, 
aut quid Sauromatae faciant, quid lazyges acres 

cultaque Oresteae Taurica terra deae, 
quaeque aliae gentes, ubi frigore constitit Hister, 
80 dura meant celeri terga per amnis equo. 

maxima pars hominum nee te, pulcherrima, curat, 

Roma, nee Ausonii militis arma timet. 
dant illis animos arcus plenaeque pharetrae 

quamque libet longis cursibus aptus equus, 
86 quodque sitim didicere diu tolerare famemque, 
quodque sequens nullas hostis habebit aquas. 

1 liquescimt 

EX PONTO, I. n. 55-86 

melts from unending sorrows as fresh wax is wont 
to do when fire is brought near. Often I pray for 
death, yet I even beg off from death for fear that 
the Sarmatian soil may cover my bones. When I 
remember Augustus's mercy, I believe it possible that 
a kindly shore may be offered for my shipwreck. 
When I see how persistent is my fate, I break down 
and my slight hope falls away vanquished by a mighty 
fear. Yet I neither hope nor pray for anything 
further than the power even by a wretched change 
to be rid of this place. Tis either this or nothing 
that your favour can attempt in moderation for me 
without impairing your self-respect. Maximus, 
eloquence of the Roman tongue, take upon yourself 
the merciful pleading of a difficult case. A bad case, 
I admit, but it will become a good one if you plead it ; 
only utter some words of sympathy in behalf of 
wretched exile. For Caesar knows not, though a 
god knows all things, the nature of this remote place. 
Great undertakings engross his divine mind ; this is 
a matter too small for his godlike heart. He has no 
leisure to inquire where the Tomitae are situated, a 
region hardly known to the neighbouring Getan ; or 
what the Sauromatae are doing, or the fierce lazyges, 
and the Tauric land watched over by Orestes' god- 
dess, 1 or what other tribes, when cold halts the 
Hister's flow, wind along the icy back of the stream 
on swift horses. The most of these people neither 
care for thee, fair Rome, nor fear the arms of Ausonian 
soldiery. Bows and full quivers lend them courage, 
and horses capable of marches however lengthy 
and the knowledge how to endure for long both 
thirst and hunger, and that a pursuing enemy will 
1 Diana. 



ira viri mitis non me misisset in istam, 
si satis haec illi nota fuisset humus, 
nee me nee quemquam Romanum gaudet ab hoste, 
90 meque minus, vitam cui dabat l ipse, capi. 
noluit, ut 2 poterat, minimo me perdere nutu. 

nil opus est ullis in mea fata Getis. 
sed neque, cur morerer, quicquam mihi comperit 


et minus infestus, quam fuit, esse potest. 
95 tune quoque nil fecit nisi quod facere ipse coegi : 

paene etiam merito parcior ira meo est. 
di faciant igitur, quorum iustissimus ipse est, 

alma nihil maius Caesare terra ferat, 
utque fuit 3 sub eo, sic sit sub Caesare terra, 4 
100 perque manus huius tradita gentis eat. 

at tu tarn plaeido, quam nos quoque sensimus ilium 

iudice pro lacrimis ora resolve meis. 
non petito 5 ut bene sit, sed uti male tutius, utque 

exilium saevo distet ab hoste meum, 
105 quamque dedere mihi praesentia numina vitam, 

non adimat stricto squalidus ense Getes : 
denique, si moriar, subeam pacatius arvum, 

ossa nee a Scythica nostra prernantur humo, 
nee male compositos, ut scilicet exule dignum, 
110 Bistonii cineres ungula pulset equi, 

et ne, si superest aliquis post funera sensus, 

terreat et Manes Sarmatis umbra meos. 
Caesaris haec animum poterant audita movere, 

Maxime, movissent si tamen ante tuum. 
115 vox, precor, Augustas pro me tua molliat aures, 
auxilio trepidis quae solet esse reis, 

1 dedit vel dabit corr. Merkd 2 at 3 diu : fuit Ehwald 

4 sit publica saroina terrae (publice saroterra A} 

6 petis vel pete corr. Daumius 


EX PONTO, I. ii. 87-116 

have no water. The wrath of a merciful man would 
not have sent me to such a land if he had known it 
well. Nor is he pleased that I or any Roman be 
taken by an enemy I least of all, to whom he him- 
self granted life. He would not, as he could have 
done, destroy me with the slightest nod. There is 
no need of any Getae to bring about my death. But 
he found no act on my part worthy of death, and 'tis 
possible that he is less incensed against me than he 
was. Even then he did nothing save what I forced 
him to do ; his wrath is almost more moderate than 
I deserve. May then the gods, of whom he is him- 
self the most just, cause the nourishing earth to bring 
forth nothing greater than Caesar, and as it has been 
long under Caesar's sway, so may it continue, passing 
on through the hands of his family. 

101 But do you open your lips in behalf of my tears 
at a time when the judge is as mild as I found him. 
Ask not that I may be happy, but that I may be safer 
in my unhappiness, that my place of exile may be 
distant from the cruel enemy ; that the life granted 
me by a very present deity may not be taken from 
me by the drawn sword of some filthy Getan ; in 
fine, if I should die, that I may be buried in a more 
peaceful land and my bones be not crushed down by 
Scythian soil, nor my ashes, meanly buried, as doubt- 
less an exile deserves, be trampled by the hoof of a 
Bistonian horse ; and if there be some feeling that 
survives after death, that no Sarmatian shade terrify 
even my spirit. 

113 This tale, Maximus, might move the soul of 
Caesar, yet only if it had first moved yours. Let your 
voice, I pray, soften in my behalf the ears of Caesar, 
for it is wont to aid frightened defendants, and with 



adsuetaque tibi doctae dulcedine linguae 

aequandi superis pectora flecte viri. 
non tibi Theromedon crudusque rogabitur Atreus, 
120 quique suis homines pabula fecit equis, 

sed piger ad poenas princeps, ad praemia velox, 

quique dolet, quotiens cogitur esse ferox, 
qui vicit semper, victis ut parcere posset, 

clausit et aeterna civica bella sera, 
125 multa metu poenae, poena 1 qui pauca coercet, 

et iacit invita fulmina rara manu. 
ergo tarn placidas orator missus ad aures, 

ut propior patriae sit fuga nostra roga. 
ille ego sum, qui te colui, quern festa solebat 
130 inter convivas mensa videre tuos : 

ille ego, qui duxi vestros Hymenaeon ad ignes, 

et cecini fausto carmina digna toro, 
cuius te soli turn memini laudare libellos, 

exceptis domino qui nocuere suo, 
135 cui tua nonnumquam miranti scripta legebas : 

ille ego de vestra cui data nupta domo est. 
hanc probat et primo dilectam semper ab aevo 

est inter comites Marcia censa suas, 
inque suis habuit matertera Caesaris ante : 
140 quarum iudicio siqua probata, proba est. 
ipsa sua melior fama, laudantibus istis, 

Claudia divina non eguisset ope. 
nos quoque praeteritos sine labe peregimus annos : 

proxima pars vitae transilienda meae. 
1 et qui multa metu sed poena vel multa metu cohibet poena 

1 Diomedes, king of the Bistones. 

EX PONTO, I. n. 117-144 

the usual sweetness of your accomplished tongue 
influence the heart of a hero whom we must liken 
to the gods. You will have to appeal to no Thero 
medon, no cruel Atreus, or to him l who made human 
beings fodder for his horses, but to a prince, slow 
to punish, quick to reward, who sorrows whenever 
he is forced to be severe, who has ever conquered 
that he might have power to spare the conquered, 
who has shut in civil war with an everlasting bar, who 
controls many things by the fear of punishment, few 
by punishment itself, hurling the thunderbolt rarely 
and with unwilling hand. 

127 So then since you are sent to plead in such merci- 
ful ears ask that my place of exile may be nearer my 
native land. I am he who attended upon you, whom 
the festal board used to see among your guests, I am 
he who led Hymenaeus to your wedding torches and 
sang a lay worthy of your propitious union, whose 
books, I remember, you used to praise with the 
exception of those which harmed their master ; who 
used to admire the writings that you sometimes read 
to him, to whom a bride 2 was given from your house- 
hold. She has the respect of Marcia, 3 who has loved 
her from her early years and given her a place 
among her companions ; earlier still Caesar's aunt 4 so 
regarded her, and any woman approved in their 
judgment is indeed approved. Even she who was 
better than her own fame, even Claudia, had such 
women praised her, would have needed no divine aid. 

143 I, too, lived the years that are past without a 
blemish ; the most recent part of my life must be 
passed over in silence. But to say naught of myself, 

2 Ovid's third wife, perhaps a Fabia. 8 The wife of Maximus. 
4 Atia minor, wife of L. Marcius Philippus. 



145 sed de me ut sileam, 1 coniunx mea sarcina vestra est : 

non potes hanc salva dissimulare fide, 
confugit haec ad vos, vestras amplectitur aras 

iure venit cultos ad sibi quisque deos 
flensque rogat, precibus lenito Caesare vestris, 
150 busta sui flant ut propiora viri. 


Hanc tibi Naso tuus mittit, Rufine, salutem, 

qui miser est, ulli si suus esse potest. 
reddita confusae nuper solacia menti 

auxilium nostris spemque tulere malis. 
5 utque Machaoniis Poeantius artibus heros 

lenito medicam vulnere sensit opem, 
sic ego mente iacens et acerbo saucius ictu 

adinomtu coepi fortior esse tuo, 
et iam deficiens sic ad tua verba revixi, 
10 ut solet infuso vena redire mero. 

non tamen exhibuit tantas facundia vires, 

ut mea sint dictis pectora sana tuis. 
ut multum demas nostrae 2 de gurgite curae, 

non minus exhausto quod superabit erit. 
15 tempore ducetur longo fortasse cicatrix : 

horrent admotas vulnera cruda manus. 
non est in medico semper relevetur ut aeger : 

interdum docta plus valet arte malum. 
cernis ut e molli sanguis pulmone remissus 
20 ad Stygias certo limite ducat aquas, 
afferat ipse licet sacras Epidaurius herbas, 

sanabit nulla vulnera cordis ope. 

1 taceam 2 nostro corpora (pectore) 


EX PONTO, I. n. 145 m. 22 

my wife is a charge upon you ; you cannot deny her 
and maintain your loyalty. She flees to you for 
refuge, embracing your altar (rightly does each come 
to the gods whom he himself worships) and in tears 
she begs that you may soften Caesar by your prayers 
and bring the tomb of her husband nearer. 


This greeting, Rufmus, your friend Naso sends you 
if a wretched man can be anyone's friend. 

3 The consolation that but now you sent to my dis- 
tressed heart brought aid and hope to my woes. 
As the Poeantian hero l through the art of Machaon 
felt in his soothed wound the healing aid, so I, pros- 
trate in soul and wounded by a bitter blow, began to 
grow stronger through your admonition when I was 
just on the point of failing ; I was as much restored by 
your words as the pulse is wont to revive when wine 
is administered. Yet your eloquence had not such 
power that my heart is whole through your words. 
You may take much from my flood of woe, but there 
will remain not less than you have drained away. 
Perhaps in long time a scar will form ; a raw wound 
quivers at the touch of a hand. 'Tis not always in 
a physician's power to cure the sick ; at times the 
disease is stronger than trained art. You see how 
the blood emitted from a tender lung leads by an 
unerring path to the waters of the Styx. Let the 
Epidaurian 2 in person bring holy herbs, he will have 
no skill with which to heal wounds in the heart. The 

1 Philoctetes. 
* Aesculapius, whose greatest temple was at Epidaurus. 



tollere nodosam nescit medicina podagram, 

nee formidatis auxiliatur aquis. 
25 cura quoque interdum nulla medicabilis arte est 

aut, ut sit, longa est extenuanda mora. 
cum bene firmarunt animum praecepta iacentem, 

sumptaque sunt nobis pectoris arma tui, 
rursus amor patriae ratione valentior omni, 
30 quod tua fecerunt scripta, retexit opus, 
sive pium vis hoc sive hoc muliebre vocari, 

confiteor misero molle cor esse mihi. 
non dubia est Ithaci prudentia, sed tamen optat 

fumum de patriis posse videre focis. 
35 nescioqua natale solum dulcedine cunctos 

ducit et inmemores non sinit esse sui. 
quid melius Roma ? Scythico quid frigore peius ? 

hue tamen ex ilia 1 barbarus urbe fugit. 
cum bene sit clausae cavea Pandione natae, 
40 nititur in silvas ilia redire suas. 
adsuetos tauri saltus, adsueta leones 

nee feritas illos impedit antra petunt. 
tu tamen exilii morsus e pectore nostro 

fomentis speras cedere posse tuis. 
45 effice vos ipsi ne tam mihi sitis amandi, 

talibus ut levius sit caruisse malum. 
at, puto, qua genitus fueram, tellure carenti 

in tamen humano contigit esse loco, 
orbis in extremi iaceo desertus harenis, 
60 fert ubi perpetuas obruta terra nives. 

non ager hie pomum, non dulces educat uvas, 2 

non salices ripa, robora monte virent. 
neve fretum laudes terra magis, aequora semper 

ventorum rabie solibus orba tument. 

1 ista 2 herbas 

l Ulysses. a Philomela, the nightingale. 


EX PONTO, I. in. 23-54 

healing art knows not how to remove crippling gout, 
it helps not the fearful dropsy. Sorrow too can find 
at times no skill that will cure it or else to be cured 
it must be worn away by long time. When your 
admonitions have strengthened my prostrate soul and 
I have put on the armour of your heart, once again 
my love for the fatherland, stronger than any reason- 
ing, undoes the work that your writings have wrought. 
Whether you call this loyal or womanish, I admit that 
in my wretchedness my heart is soft. None doubt 
the Ithacan's l wisdom, but yet he prays that he may 
see the smoke from his native hearth. By what 
sweet charm I know not the native land draws all 
men nor allows them to forget her. What is better 
than Rome ? What worse than the cold of Scythia ? 
Yet hither the barbarian flees from that city. Though 
Pandion's daughter 2 may be well off in her cage, she 
strives to return to her own forests . Bullocks seek their 
familiar pastures, lions in spite of their wild nature 
their familiar lairs. Nevertheless you hope that the 
gnawing pangs of exile can be made by your soothing 
to leave my breast. See to it that you and yours be 
not yourselves so dear to me ; so will it be a slighter 
misfortune to be deprived of you. " But," I suppose, 
" though I am separated from the land of my birth, I 
have yet had the good fortune to be in a place where 
men dwell ! " At the edge of the world I lie aban- 
doned on the strand, where the buried earth supports 
constant snows. No fields here produce fruit, nor 
sweet grapes, no willows are green upon the bank, 
nor oaks upon the hill. Nor can you praise the sea 
more than the land, for the sunless waters ever heave 
beneath the madness of the winds. Wherever you 



55 quocumque aspicies, 1 campi cultore carentcs 

vastaque, quae nemo vindicat, arva iacent. 
hostis adest dextra laevaque a parte timendus, 

vicinoque metu terret utrumque latus. 
altera Bistonias pars est sensura sarisas, 
60 altera Sarmatica spicula missa manu. 
i nunc et veterum nobis exempla virorum 

qui forti casum mente tulere refer, 
et grave magnanimi robur mirare Rutili 

non usi reditus condi clone dati. 
65 Smyrna virum tenuit, non Pontus et hostica tellus, 

paene minus nullo Smyrna petenda loco, 
non doluit patria cynicus procul esse Sinopeus, 

legit enim sedes, Attica terra, tuas. 
arma Neoclides qui Persica contudit armis, 
70 Argolica primam sensit in urbe fugam. 
pulsus Aristides patria Lacedaemona fugit, 

inter quas dubium, quae prior esset, erat. 
caede puer facta Patroclus Opunta reliquit, 

Thessalicamque adiit hospes Achillis humum. 
75 exul ab Haemonia Pirenida cessit ad undam, 

quo duce trabs Colcha sacra cucurrit aqua, 
liquit Agenorides Sidonia moenia Cadmus, 

poneret ut muros in meliore loco, 
venit ad Adrastum Tydeus Calydone fugatus, 
80 et Teucrum Veneri grata recepit humus. 

quid referam veteres Romanae gentis, apud quos 

exulibus tellus ultima Tibur erat ? 
persequar ut cunctos, nulli datus omnibus aevis 

tarn procul a patria est horridiorve locus. 

1 P. Rutilius Rufus, an opponent of Marius, who went 
into voluntary exile at Smyrna. 


EX PONTO, I. in. 55-84 

gaze, lie plains with no tillers, vast steppes which 
no man claims. Close at hand on the right and left 
is a dreaded enemy terrifying us with imminent fear 
on both sides. One side is on the eve of feeling the 
Bistonian spears, the other the darts sped by the 
hand of the Sarmatian. Now then go and cite for 
me the example of men of old who bore danger with 
strong mind ; admire the impressive strength of 
great-souled Rutilius x who would not avail himself of 
the proffered offer of return home ! Smyrna held 
him, not the Pontus or a hostile land Smyrna, than 
which scarce any place is more to be desired. It 
grieved not the cynic 2 of Sinope to be far from his 
native city, for he chose a home in the land of Attica. 
Neocles' son, 3 who with arms beat down the arms of 
Persia, first experienced exile in the city of Argos. 
Aristides expelled from his native city found refuge 
in Sparta and it was doubtful which of these two 
excelled. Young Patroclus, having slain a man, left 
Opus and became the guest of Achilles in Thessaly. 
From Haemonia to Pirene's spring fled the exile 4 
under whose guidance the sacred ship skimmed the 
waters of Colchis. Agenor's son Cadmus left the 
battlements of Sidon to establish walls in a better 
place. 5 Tydeus came to Adrastus 6 when exiled 
from Calydon, Teucer found refuge in the land 7 that 
Venus loves. Why need I tell of the men of olden 
Roman race with whom the remotest land of exile 
was Tibur 8 ? Though I should enumerate every 
exile, none in any age has ever been assigned to a 
more forbidding place so far from his native land. 

2 Diofrenes. 3 Themistocles. 4 Jason. 

6 Thebes. 6 At Argos. 7 Cyprus. 

8 About eighteen miles from Rome. 



85 quo magis ignoscat sapientia vestra dolenti : 

quae facit ex dictis, non ita multa, tuis. 
nee tamen infitior, si possint nostra coire 

vulnera, praeceptis posse coire tuis. 
sed vereor ne me frustra servare labores, 
90 neu iuver admota perditus aeger ope. 

nee loquor haec, quia sit maior prudentia nobis, 

sed sum quam medico notior ipse mihi. 
ut tamen hoc ita sit, munus tua grande voluntas 

ad me pervenit consuliturque boni. 


lam mihi deterior canis aspergitur aetas, 

iamque meos vultus ruga senilis arat : 
iam vigor et quasso languent in corpore vires, 

nee, iuveni lusus qui placuere, iuvant. 
5 nee, si me subito videas, agnoscere possis, 

aetatis facta est tanta ruina meae. 
confiteor facere hoc annos, sed et altera causa est, 

anxietas animi continuusque labor, 
nam mea per longos siquis mala digerat annos, 
10 crede mihi, Pylio Nestore maior ero. 

cernis ut in duris et quid bove firmius ? arvis 

fortia taurorum corpora frangat opus, 
quae numquam vacuo solita est cessare novali, 

fructibus assiduis lassa senescit humus. 
15 occidet, ad Circi siquis certamina semper 

non intermissis cursibus ibit equus. 
firma sit ilia licet, solvetur in aequore navis, 

quae numquam liquidis sicca carebit aquis. 

EX PONTO, I. m. 85 iv. 18 

85 And so let your wisdom pardon one in grief ; what 
he does that is in accord with your words is not much. 
Yet I do not deny that could my wounds heal, 'tis 
through your teaching they could heal. But I fear 
that it is in vain you strive to save me, and that I shall 
not be helped in my desperate sickness by the aid 
you bring. And this I say, not because I have the 
greater wisdom, but I know myself better than any 
doctor can. Yet in spite of this, your good will has 
come to me as a great boon and I take it in good part. 


Now is the worse period of life upon me with its 
sprinkling of white hairs, now the wrinkles of age are 
furrowing my face, now energy and strength are 
weakening in my shattered frame. On a sudden 
shouldst thou see me, thou couldst not recognize me ; 
such havoc has been wrought with my life. I admit 
that this is the work of the years, but there is yet 
another cause anguish and constant suffering. For 
should my misfortunes be distributed by anybody 
through a long series of years, I shall be older, I 
assure thee, than Pylian Nestor. 

11 Thou seest how in the stubborn fields the sturdy 
bullocks and what is stronger than a bullock ? are 
broken in body with toil. The land which has never 
been wont to rest as idle fallow, grows weary and old 
with constant production. That horse will fall which 
enters every contest of the Circus without omission. 
Strong though she be, the ship will break up in the 
sea which never is hauled from the clear waters to 



me quoque debilitat series inmensa malorum, 1 
20 ante meum tempus cogit et esse senem. 
otia corpus alunt, animus quoque pascitur illis : 

inmodicus contra carpi t utrumque labor, 
aspice, in has partis quod venerit Aesone natus, 

quam laudem a sera posteritate ferat. 
25 at labor illius nostro leviorque minorque est, 

si modo non verum nomina magna premunt. 
ille est in Pontum Pelia mittente profectus, 

qui vix Thessaliae fine timendus erat. 
Caesaris ira mihi nocuit, quern solis ab ortu 
30 solis ad occasus utraque terra trcmit. 

iunctior Haemonia est Ponto, quam Roma, Sinistro, 2 

et brevius, quam nos, ille peregit iter. 
ille habuit comites primos telluris Achivae : 

at nostram cuncti destituere fugam. 
35 nos fragili ligno vastum sulcavimus aequor : 
quae tulit Aesoniden, densa carina 3 fuit. 
nee mihi Tiphys erat rector, nee Agenore natus 

quas fugerem docuit quas sequererque vias. 
ilium tutata est cum Pallade regia luno : 
40 defendere meum numina nulla caput. 
ilium furtivae iuvere Cupidinis artes ; 

quas a me vellem non didicisset Amor, 
ille domum rediit : nos his moriemur in arvis, 

perstiterit laesi si gravis ira dei. 
45 durius est igitur nostrum, fidissima coniunx, 

illo, quod subiit Aesone natus, opus. 4 
te quoque, quam iuvenem discedens urbe reliqui, 

credibile est nostris insenuisse malis. 
o, ego di faciant talem te cernere possim, 6 
50 caraque mutatis oscula ferre comis, 

1 laborum 2 sit bistro corr. Burmann 

3 sacra carina (sa carina) vel firma carina 


EX PONTO, I. iv. 19-50 

dry. I too am weakened by the measureless series 
of my woes and am perforce an old man before my 

21 Leisure nourishes the body, the mind too feeds 
upon it, but excessive toil impairs both. Behold 
what praise the son * of Aeson, because he came to 
this region, receives from late posterity. Yet his 
toil was lighter and smaller than mine, if only mighty 
names do not keep down the truth. He set forth to 
Pontus dispatched by Pelias who was scarce dreaded 
as far as the bounds of Thessaly. Caesar's anger 
wrought my ruin at whom the world of sunrise and 
of sunset alike tremble. Haemonia is closer to ill- 
omened Pontus than Rome, and he completed a 
shorter journey than I. He had as comrades the 
leaders of the Achaean land, but I was abandoned of 
all on my journey. In a frail bark I ploughed the 
vast sea ; the one that carried Aeson *s son was a 
staunch ship. I had no Tiphys for a pilot nor did 
Agenor's son 2 teach me what ways to avoid and what 
to follow. He was safeguarded by Pallas and queenly 
Juno ; no deities defended my life. He was aided 
by the wily arts of Cupid ; would that Love had not 
learned them from me ! He came back to his home ; 
I shall die in this land, if the weighty wrath of the 
injured god persists. Harder then is my task, my 
faithful wife, than that which Aeson 's son endured. 

47 Thou too, whom I left in youth when I set out 
from the city, doubtless hast aged in consequence of 
my misfortunes. O, may the gods grant that I can see 
thee thus, lovingly kiss thy altered locks, and folding 

1 Jason. 2 Phineus. 



amplectique meis corpus non pingue lacertis, 

et " gracile hoc fecit " dicere " cura mei," 
et narrare meos flenti flens ipse labor es, 

sperato numquam conloquioque frui, 
66 turaque Caesaribus cum coniuge Caesare digna, 

dis veris, memori debita ferre manu ! 
Memnonis hanc utinam lenito principe mater 

quam primum roseo provocet ore diem ! 


Ille tuos quondam non ultimus inter amicos, 

ut sua verba legas, Maxime, Naso rogat. 
in quibus ingenium desiste requirere nostrum, 

nescius exilii ne videare mei. 
6 cernis ut ignavum corrumpant otia corpus, 

ut capiant vitium, 1 ni moveantur, aquae, 
et mihi siquis erat ducendi carminis usus, 

deficit estque minor factus inerte situ, 
haec quoque, quae legitis, siquid mihi, Maxime, credis, 
10 scribimus invita vixque coacta manu. 
non libet in talis animum contendere curas, 

nee venit ad duros Musa vocata Getas. 
ut tamen ipse vides, luctor deducere versum : 

sed non fit fato mollior ille meo. 
16 cum relego, scripsisse pudet, quia plurima cerno 

me quoque, qui feci, iudice digna lini. 
nee tamen emendo. labor hie quam scribere maior, 

mensque pati durum sustinet aegra nihil. 
scilicet incipiam lima mordacius uti, 
20 et sub iudicium singula verba vocem ? 

1 capeant vitio 

EX PONTO, I. iv. 51 v. 20 

thy slender body in my arms say, " Love for me hath 
wasted thee so," and amid mutual tears tell thee of 
my sufferings, enjoying a talk I have never hoped for, 
and offering to the Caesars and the wife who is 
worthy of Caesar the incense due from my grateful 
hand. Would that Memnon's mother, 1 when the 
Prince is softened, might with rosy lips call forth this 
day as soon as may be ! 


Tis he who was once not last among your friends 
'tis Naso, asks you, Maximus, to read his words. 
Seek not in them my native wit lest you seem unaware 
of my banishment. You see how inactivity spoils an 
idle body, how water acquires a taint unless it is in 
motion. For me, too, whatever skill I had in shaping 
song is failing, diminished by inactive sloth. Even 
this that you read, Maximus, if in anything you 
believe me, I write forcing it with difficulty from an 
unwilling hand. There is no pleasure in straining 
the mind to such a task, nor does the Muse come at 
one's call to the stern Getae. Yet, as you see, I am 
struggling to weave verses, but the fabric is not 
softer than my fate. When I read it over I am 
ashamed of my work because I note many a thing 
that even in my own, the maker's judgment, deserves 
to be erased. Yet I do not correct it. This is a 
greater labour than the writing, and my sick mind 
has not the power to endure anything hard. Am 
I forsooth to use the file more bitingly, subjecting 
single words to criticism ? Does fortune indeed 

1 Aurora. 



torquet enim fortuna parum, nisi Lixus in Hebrum 

confluat, et frondes Alpibus addat Atho l ? 
parcendum est animo miserabile vulnus habenti. 

subducunt oneri colla perusta boves. 
25 at, puto, fructus adest, iustissima causa laborum, 

et sata cum multo faenore reddit ager ? 
tempus ad hoc no bis, repetas licet omnia, nullum 

profuit atque utinam non nocuisset ! opus, 
cur igitur scribam, miraris ? miror et ipse, 
30 et tecum quaero saepe quid inde petam. 
an populus vere sanos negat esse poetas, 

sumque fides huius maxima vocis ego, 
qui, sterili totiens cum sim deceptus ab arvo, 

damnosa persto condere semen humo ? 
35 scilicet est cupidus studiorum quisque suorum, 

tempus et adsueta ponere in arte iuvat. 
saucius eiurat pugnam gladiator, et idem 

inmemor antiqui vulneris arma capit. 
nil sibi cum pelagi dicit fore naufragus undis, 
40 et ducit remos qua modo navit aqua. 
sic ego constanter studium non utile servo, 

et repeto, nollem quas coluisse, deas. 
quid potius faciam ? non sum, qui segnia ducam 

otia : mors nobis tempus habetur iners. 
45 nee iuvat in lucem nimio marcescere vino, 

nee tenet incertas alea blanda manus. 
cum dedimus somno quas corpus postulat boras, 

quo ponam vigilans tempora longa modo ? 
moris an oblitus patrii contendere discam 
60 Sarmaticos arcus, et trahar arte loci ? 

1 athos 

EX PONTO, I. v. 21-50 

torture me too little without my making the Lixus 
flow into the Hebrus and Athos add leaves to the 
Alps ? One must spare a soul that has a wretched 
wound ; oxen withdraw their chafed necks from a 
burden. " But," I suppose, " a reward is at hand, the 
most justifiable reason for toil, and the field is return- 
ing the seed with much usury ! " To the present no 
work of mine, though you enumerate them all, has 
brought me profit would that none had harmed 
me ! 

29 Why then do I write, you wonder? I too wonder, 
and with you I often ask what I seek from it. Or do 
the people say true that poets are not sane and am I 
the strongest proof of this maxim I who though so 
many times deceived by the barrenness of the soil, 
persist in sowing my seed in ground that ruins me ? 
Clearly each man shows a passion for his own pursuits, 
taking pleasure in devoting time to his familiar art. 
The wounded gladiator forswears the fight, yet for- 
getting his former wound he dons his arms. The 
shipwrecked man declares that he will have nothing 
to do with the waves of the sea, yet plies the oar in 
the water in which but recently he swam. In the 
same way I continually hold to a profitless pursuit, 
returning to the goddesses whom I would I had not 
worshipped. What rather shall I do ? I am not one 
to lead a life of idle leisure ; I regard idleness as 
death. I take no pleasure in steeping myself in 
wine until daylight, and the alluring dice attract 
not my shaking hands. W T hen I have devoted to 
sleep what hours my frame demands, how am I to 
spend the long period of wakefulness ? Forgetting 
the ways of my native land shall I learn how to bend 
the Sarmatian bow, attracted by the accomplishment 



hoc quoque me studium prohibent adsumere vires, 

mensque magis gracili corpore nostra valet, 
cum bene quaesieris quid agam, magis utile nil est 

artibus his, quae nil utilitatis habent. 
65 consequor ex illis casus oblivia nostri : 

hanc messem satis est si mea reddit humus, 
gloria vos acuat, vos, ut recitata probentur 

carmina, Pieriis invigilate choris. 
quod venit ex facili, satis est componere nobis, 
60 et nimis intenti causa laboris abest. 
cur ego sollicita poliam mea carmina cura ? 

an verear ne non approbet ilia Getes ? 
forsitan audacter faciam, sed glorior Histrum 

ingenio nullum maius habere meo. 
65 hoc, ubi vivendum est, satis est, si consequor arvo, 

inter inhumanos esse poeta Getas. 
quo mihi diversum fama contendere in orbem ? 

quern fortuna dedit, Roma sit ille locus, 
hoc mea contenta est infelix Musa theatre : 
70 sic merui, magni sic voluere dei. 

nee reor hinc istuc nostris iter esse libellis, 

quo Boreas pinna deficiente venit. 
dividimur caelo, quaeque est procul urbe Quirini, 

aspicit hirsutos comminus Ursa Getas. 
76 per tantum terrae, tot aquas vix credere possum 

indicium studii transiluisse mei. 
finge legi, quodque est mirabile, tinge placere : 

auctorem certe res iuvat ista nihil. 
quid tibi, si calidae, prosit, laudere Syenae, 1 
80 aut ubi Taprobanen Indica tinguit aqua ? 

1 calidae . . . syene etc. corr. Riese 

EX PONTO, I. v. 51-80 

of the country ? Even this pursuit my strength 
prevents me from adopting, for my mind is stronger 
than my slender body. 

63 When you have pondered well what I am to do, 
nothing is more useful than this art which has no use. 
From it I win forgetfulness of my misfortune ; this 
harvest is enough if my ground but yields it. As 
for you your goad may be renown ; to read your 
poems and win approval, devote your wakeful hours 
to the Pierian band. Tis enough for me to compose 
what comes easily ; I lack a reason for too earnest 
toil. Why should I refine my verse with anxious 
labour ? Should I fear that the Getan will not 
approve them ? Perchance 'tis bold of me, and yet 
I boast that the Hister has no greater talent than 
mine. In this land where I must live 'tis enough if I 
succeed in being a poet among the uncivilized Getae. 
Why should I attempt to reach with fame the opposite 
side of the world ? Let that place be Rome which 
fortune has given me. With this theatre my un- 
happy Muse is content : so have I deserved, so have 
the great gods willed. 

71 And I think that my books cannot journey from 
this place to your region whither Boreas comes on 
failing wing. We are separated by the heavens' 
space, and the She Bear who is far from the city of 
Quirinus gazes close at hand upon the shaggy Getae. 
Over so vast a stretch of land, so many waters I can 
scarce believe it possible that a hint of my work has 
leaped. Suppose it is read, and marvellous indeed 
suppose it finds favour; that fact surely helps its 
author not at all. What profit to you if you should 
be praised in hot Syene, 1 or where the Indian waves 

1 Assuan, far up the Nile at the bounds of the empire. 



altius ire libet ? si te distantia longe 

Pleiadum laudent signa, quid inde feras ? 
sed neque pervenio scriptis mediocribus istuc, 

famaque cum domino fugit ab urbe suo. 
85 vosque, quibus perii, tune cum mea fama sepulta est, 
nunc quoque de nostra morte tacere reor. 


Ecquid, ut audisti nam te diversa tenebat 

terra meos casus, cor tibi triste fuit ? 
dissimules metuasque licet, Graecine, fateri, 

si bene te novi, triste fuisse liquet. 
5 non cadit in mores feritas inamabilis istos, 

nee minus a studiis dissidet ilia tuis. 
artibus ingenuis, quarum tibi maxima cura est, 

pectora mollescunt asperitasque fugit. 
nee quisquam meliore fide complectitur illas, 
10 qua sinit officium militiaeque labor. 

certe ego cum primum potui sentire quid esscm 

nam fuit attoniti l mens mea nulla diu 
hoc quoque fortunam 2 sensi, quod amicus abesses, 

qui mihi praesidium grande futurus eras. 
16 tecum tune aberant aegrae solacia mentis, 

magnaque pars animi consiliique mei. 
at nunc, quod superest, fer opem, precor, eminus 


adloquioque iuva pectora nostra tuo, 
quae, non mendaci si quicquam credis amico, 
20 stulta magis dici quam scelerata decet. 
nee breve nee tutum peccati quae sit origo 
scribere ; tractari vulnera nostra timent. 

1 attonito corr. Ehwald 2 fortunae <r 

1 Perhaps Ceylon. 

EX PONTO, I. v. 81 vi. 22 

dye Tabropanes x ? Would you go further ? If the 
far distant stars of the Pleiads should praise you, what 
would you gain ? But I do not penetrate by virtue 
of my commonplace writings to that place of yours ; 
the author's fame was banished with him from his own 
city. And you in whose eyes I died when my fame 
was buried, now also, I think, are silent about my 
death. 2 


Is it true that when you heard of my disaster., for 
you were then in a different land, your heart was sad ? 
You may try to hide it and shrink from the admission, 
Graecinus, but if I know you well, 'tis certain it was 
sad. Revolting cruelty does not square with your 
character and is no less at variance with your pur- 
suits. The liberal arts, for which you care above all 
things, soften the heart arid expel harshness. No- 
body embraces them with greater faith than you 
so far as duty and the toil of a soldier's life permit. 
For mv part as soon as I realized what I was for long 
was I stunned and had no powers of thought I felt 
in this also my fate that you, my friend, were absent, 
you who were sure to be my great support. With 
you at that time were absent all that solaces a sick 
mind, and a great part of my courage and my counsel. 

17 But as it is, for this alone remains, bring me one 
aid, I beseech you, from afar ; help with your com- 
forting words a heart which, if you believe at all a 
friend who does not lie, should be called foolish rather 
than wicked. It would be long and not safe to tell 
the story of my sin, and my wounds fear to be 

a i.e. they had ceased even to talk about his living death 
in exile. 



qualicumque modo mihi sunt 1 ea facta, rogare 

desine : non agites, siqua coire veils. 
25 quicquid id est, ut non facinus, sic culpa vocanda 


omnis an in magnos culpa deos scelus est ? 
spes igitur menti poenae, Graecine, levandae 

non est ex toto nulla relicta meae. 
haec dea, cum fugerent sceleratas numina terras, 
30 in dis invisa sola remansit humo. 

haec facit ut vivat fossor quoque compede vinctus, 

liberaque a ferro crura futura putet. 
haec facit ut, videat cum terras undique nullas, 

naufragus in mediis brachia iactet aquis. 
35 saepe aliquem sellers medicorum cura reliquit, 

nee spes huic vena deficiente cadit. 
carcere dicuntur clausi sperare salutem, 

atque aliquis pendens in cruce vota facit. 
haec dea quam multos laqueo sua colla ligantis 
40 non est proposita passa perire nece ! 
me quoque conantem gladio finire dolorem 

arguit iniecta continuitque manu, 
" quid " que " facis ? lacrimis opus est, non sanguine" 


" saepe per has flecti principis ira solet." 
46 quamvis est igitur meritis indebita nostris, 

magna tamen spes est in bonitate dei. 
qui ne difficilis mihi sit, Graecine, precare, 

confer et in votum tu quoque verba meum. 
inque Tomitana iaceam tumulatus harena, 
50 si te non nobis ista vovere liquet. 

nam prius incipient turris vitare columbae, 
antra ferae, pecudes gramina, mergus aquas, 

1 sint corr. Ehwald 

EX PONTO, I. vi. 23-52 

touched. However I came by those wounds, cease 
to ask about them : disturb them not, if you wish 
them to heal. Whatever that is, though it does not 
deserve the term " crime," yet it should be called a 
" fault." Or is every fault against the great gods a 
crime ? 

27 Hope therefore of lessening my punishment, 
Graecinus, has not altogether forsaken my soul. 
That goddess, when all other deities abandoned the 
wicked earth, remained alone on the god-detested 
place. She causes even the ditcher to live in spite of 
his shackles and to think that his limbs will be freed 
from the iron. She makes the shipwrecked man, see- 
ing no land on any side, move his arms in the midst of 
the waves. Oft has a man been abandoned by the 
skill and care of physicians, but hope leaves him not 
though his pulses fail. Those who are shut in prison 
hope for release, they say, and many a one hanging 
on the cross still prays. How many this goddess has 
prevented in the act of fastening the noose about 
their throats from perishing by the death they had 
purposed ! Me also as I was attempting to end my 
grief with the sword she rebuked, checking me with 
a touch of her hand and saying, " What are you 
about ? There is need of tears, not blood ; often by 
tears the wrath of a prince may be turned aside." 
And so although I do not deserve it, yet I have 
strong hope in the kindness of the god. Pray, 
Graecinus, that he be not hard for me to win ; add 
too some words of your own to my supplication. 
May I lie entombed in the sands of Tomis if it is 
not clear that you are a suppliant in my behalf. 
For sooner will the pigeons avoid the towers, the wild 
beasts the forest glades, the cattle the grass, and the 



quam male se praestet veteri Graecinus amico. 
non ita sunt fatis omnia versa meis. 


Littera pro verbis tibi, Messaline, salutem 

quam legis, a saevis attulit usque Getis. 
indicat auctorem locus ? an, nisi nomine lecto, 

haec me Nasonem scribere verba latet ? 
6 ecquis in extreme positus iacet orbe tuorum, 

me tamen excepto, qui precor esse tuus ? 
di procul a cunctis, qui te venerantur amantque 

huius notitiam gentis habere l velint. 
nos satis est inter glaciem Scythicasque sagittas 
10 vivere, si vita est mortis habenda genus, 
nos premat aut bello tellus, aut frigore caelum, 

truxque Getes armis, grandine pugnet 2 hiems : 
nos habeat regio nee porno feta nee uvis, 

et cuius nullum cesset ab hoste latus. 
15 cetera sit sospes cultorum turba tuorum, 

in quibus, ut populo, pars ego parva fui. 
me miserum, si tu verbis offenderis istis 

nosque negas ulla parte fuisse tuos ! 
idque sit ut verum, mentito ignoscere debes : 
20 nil demit laudi gloria nostra tuae. 

quis se Caesaribus notus non fingit amicum ? 

da veniam lasso : tu mihi Caesar eras. 3 
nee tamen inrumpo quo non licet ire, satisque est 

atria si nobis non patuisse negas. 

1 abesse a pulset S" 8 eris 


EX PONTO, I. vi. 53 vn. 24 

gull the waters than Graecinus will weakly support 
an old friend. Not so utterly have all things been 
changed by my fate. 


Letters, instead of spoken words, Messalinus, have 
brought you the greeting which you read all the way 
from the fierce Getae. Is the place a token of the 
author ? Or unless you have read the name are you 
unaware that I who write these words am Naso ? 
Does any one of your friends except myself who 
pray that I am your friend lie at the very edge of 
the world ? May the gods will that all who show you 
respect and love may have no knowledge of this race ! 
Enough that / should live midst ice and Scythian 
arrows if a kind of death must be considered life. 
Let me be hard pressed by war on the earth or by 
the chill of heaven, the wild Getae fighting with arms 
and the winter with its hail ; let me be held in a 
country that produces neither fruit nor grape, that 
has no side free from an enemy : but safe be all the 
other throng of your clients, among whom, as mid a 
host, I was but one of many. Alas for me if you take 
offence at such words as these and deny that I have 
been connected with you in any respect. For even 
though that were true, you ought to pardon my false- 
hood ; your praise loses nothing through this boast 
of mine. What acquaintance of the Caesars does 
not imagine himself a friend ! Pardon me the con- 
fession ; you have ever been in my eyes a Caesar. 
And yet I do not force my way where I am not allowed 
to go, and 'tis enough if you do not deny that your 
halls were open to me. Though you had nothing 



25 utque tibi fuerit mecum nihil amplius, uno 
nempe salutaris, quam priiis, ore minus, 
nee tuus est genitor nos infitiatus amicos, 

hortator studii causaque faxque mei : 
cui nos et lacrimas, supremum in funere munus, 
30 et dedimus medio scrip ta canenda foro. 
adde quod est frater, tanto tibi iunctus amore, 

quantus in Atridis Tyndaridisque fuit : 
is me nee comitem nee dedignatus amicum est : 

si tamen haec illi non nocitura putas. 
36 si minus, hac quoque me mendacem parte fatebor : 

clausa mihi potius tota sit ista domus. 
sed neque claudenda est, et nulla potentia vires 

praestandi, ne quid peccet amicus, habet. 
et tamen ut cuperem culpam quoque posse negari, 
40 sic facinus nemo nescit abesse mihi. 
quod nisi delicti pars excusabilis esset, 

parva relegari poena futura fuit. 
ipse sed hoc vidit, qui pervidet omnia, Caesar, 

stultitiam dici crimina posse mea : 
45 quaque ego permisi, quaque est res passa, pepercit, 

usus et est modice fulminis igne sui. 
nee vitam nee opes nee ademit posse reverti, 

si sua per vestras victa sit ira preces. 
at graviter cecidi. quid enim mirabile, si quis 
60 a love percussus non leve vulnus habet ? 
ipse suas etiam x vires inhiberet Achilles, 

missa gravis ictus Pelias hasta dabat. 
iudicium nobis igitur cum vindicis adsit, 
non est cur tua me ianua nosse neget. 
65 culta quidem, fateor, citra quam debuit, ilia est : 
sed fuit in fatis hoc quoque, credo, meis. 

1 etiam] quamvis 

EX PONTO, I. vii. 25-56 

more to do with me, surely you are saluted by one 
voice less than of old. Your father did not deny my 
friendship, he who was at once the encourager, the 
cause, and the guiding light of my pursuit. For him 
I gave tears which are the final meed of death, and 
I wrote verses to be chanted in the midst of the forum. 
You have also a brother united to you with as great 
a love as that which joined the Atridae 1 or the 
Tyndaridae 2 : he has not disdained me as companion 
or as friend, yet only if you deem these words will 
not harm him. Else will I confess a falsehood in this 
particular also ; rather let that whole house be closed 
to me. Yet it ought not to be closed to me, for no 
power has strength to guarantee that a friend will 
do no wrong. And yet even as I could crave the 
power to deny my fault, so everybody knows that 
mine is no crime. And unless a part of my sin were 
pardonable, exile would have been a small punish- 
ment. But he himself saw this, he who sees all 
things Caesar that my crimes might be termed 
folly. So far as I permitted, so far as circum- 
stances allowed, he spared me, making but a mild 
use of his flaming thunderbolt. He took from me 
neither life nor property nor the possibility of return 
if his wrath should be conquered by your prayers. 

49 Yet heavy was my fall. What wonder if one 
smitten by Jupiter has no slight wound ? Even 
should Achilles restrain his power, the Pelian spear 
he hurled dealt heavy strokes. Inasmuch then as I 
have the judgment of him who punishes me in my 
favour, there is no reason why your doorway should 
deny knowledge of me. I admit I paid less court 
to it than I ought, but that too was fated for me, I 

1 Agamemnon and Menelaus. * Castor and Pollux. 



nee tamen officium sensit domus altera nostrum 

sic : illic 1 vestro sub Lare semper eram. 
quaeque tua est pietas, ut te non excolat ipsum, 
60 ius aliquod tecum fratris amicus habet. 

quid quod, ut emeritis referenda est gratia semper, 

sic est fortunae promeruisse tuae ? 
quod si permittis nobis suadere quid optes, 

ut des quam reddas plura precare deos. 
65 idque facis, quantumque licet meminisse, solebas 

officii causae 2 pluribus esse datis. 3 
quo libet in numero me, Messaline, repone, 
sim modo pars vestrae non aliena domus : 
et mala Nasonem, quoniam meruisse videtur, 
70 si non ferre doles, at meruisse dole. 


A tibi dilecto missam Nasone salutem 

accipe, pars animae magna, Severe, meae. 
neve roga quid agam. si persequar omnia, flebis ; 

summa satis nostri si 4 tibi nota mali. 
5 vivimus assiduis expert es pacis in armis, 

dura pharetrato bella movente Geta. 
deque tot expulsis sum miles in exule solus : 

tuta, neque invideo, cetera turba latet. 
quoque magis nostros venia dignere libellos, 
10 haec in procinctu carmina facta leges, 
stat vetus urbs, ripae vicina binominis Histri, 

moenibus et positu vix adeunda loci. 

1 hie illic : sic Ehwald. ; punct. A. L. W. 

2 causa vet causam corr. Purser 
9 dari vel dati : datis Owen 4 sit 

1 i.e. the house of your brother (Cotta Maxiinus). 
2 Noblesse oblige. 


EX PONTO, I. vii. 57 vin. 12 

believe. Yet the other house 1 did not experience my 
attentions thus : in that I was constantly beneath 
the protection of your common Lar, and such is your 
loyalty that though he court not you in person, your 
brother's friend has on you some claim. What too 
of this that as thanks should be rendered to those who 
have done service so it becomes your position to 
deserve them ? 2 And if you permit us to advise what 
you should desire, pray that you may give more than 
you repay. This you are doing and, as I remember, 
you used to be a source of attention because you gave 
more yourself. In whatever class you will, Messa- 
linus, place me, if only I be no alien member of 
your household. As for Naso's misfortunes since it 
seems that he has deserved them if you are not 
grieved that he endures them, yet grieve that he has 
deserved them. 


Severus, my soul's larger part, receive the greeting 
sent by Naso whom you used to love, nor ask how I 
fare. Should I tell the whole tale, it will bring you 
tears ; 'tis enough if you know the sum of my 
misfortune. I live deprived of peace amid constant 
strife while the quiver-bearing Getan rouses stern war. 
Of so many exiled I alone am both exile and soldier ; 
the rest nor do I grudge it them are safe in their 
retirement. And that you may grant my work 
greater indulgence, you will read here verses com- 
posed on the field of battle. An old city 3 lies hard 
by the bank of Hister of the double name, scarce 
accessible because of its walls and the site. Aegisos, 

8 Aegisos, cf. Ex P. iv. 7. 21 and 53. The Danube had a 
"double name": Hister and Danuvius. 

X 305 


Caspios Aegisos, de se si credimus ipsis, 
condidit, et proprio nomine dixit opus. 
15 hanc ferus, Odrysiis inopino Marte peremptis, 

cepit et in regem sustulit arma Getes. 
ille memor magni generis, virtute quod auget, 

protinus innumero milite cinctus adest. 
nee prius abscessit, merita quam caede nocentum 
20 audaces animos contuderat l populi. 2 
at tibi, rex aevo, detur, fortissime nostro, 
semper honorata sceptra tenere manu. 
teque, quod et praestat quid enim tibi plenius 

optem ? 

Martia cum magno Caesare Roma probet. 
25 sed memor unde abii, queror, o iucunde sodalis, 

accedant 3 nostris saeva quod arma malis. 
ut careo vobis, Stygias 4 detrusus in oras, 

quattuor autumnos Plei'as orta facit. 
nee tu credideris urbanae commoda vitae 
30 quaerere Nasonem, quaerit et ilia tamen. 
nam modo vos animo dulces reminiscor, amici, 

nunc mihi cum cara coniuge nata subit : 
aque domo rursus pulchrae loca vertor ad urbis, 

cunctaque mens oculis pervidet usa suis. 
35 nunc fora, nunc aedes, nunc marmore tecta theatra, 

nunc subit aequata porticus omnis humo. 
gramina nunc Campi pulchros spectantis in hortos, 
stagnaque et euripi Virgineusque liquor. 

1 contuderit DC : corr. Riese 2 Versum om. AB 

9 accedunt 4 scylhicas 


EX PONTO, I. vni. 13-38 

the Caspian, if we may believe the native tale, 
founded it and gave it his own name. The wild 
Getae took it after they had destroyed the Odrysii 
in a warfare of surprise, and raised their arms against 
the king. He, mindful of the mighty race which his 
own valour enhances, at once approached with a 
following of countless warriors. Nor did he depart 
until with deserved slaughter of the guilty he beat 
down the presumptuous spirit of the people. May 
it be granted thee, bravest monarch of our time, ever 
to sway the sceptre with thy honoured hand. Mayst 
thou, even as she grants it now for what fuller 
prayer could I make for thee find approval with 
warlike Rome along with mighty Caesar. 

25 But mindful of my beginning, my dear comrade, 
I complain of the addition of cruel warfare to my 
misfortunes. Since I have been separated from you, 
thrust down to the very shores of the Styx, the rising 
of the Pleiads is now bringing on the fourth autumn. 
Yet believe not thou that 'tis the joys of city life 
that Naso seeks and yet even them he seeks for 
at times I have memories of you, my pleasant friends, 
at times thoughts of my daughter and my dear wife 
steal over me, and from my own house I am once 
again visiting the localities of the beautiful town, my 
mino^ surveying everything with eyes of its own. 
Now the fora, now the temples, now the theatres 
sheathed in marble, now every portico with its 
levelled ground comes before me ; now the green- 
sward of the Campus that looks towards the lovely 
gardens, the pools, the canals, and the water of the 
Virgo. 1 

1 The aqueduct Virgo, cf. Tr. iii. 12. 22. 



at, puto, sic urbis misero est erepta voluptas, 
40 quolibet ut saltern rure frui liceat ! 
non meus amissos animus desiderat agros, 

ruraque Paeligno conspicienda solo, 
nee quos piniferis positos in collibus hortos 

spectat Flaminiae Clodia iuncta viae. 
45 quos ego nescio cui colui, quibus ipse solebam 

ad sata fontanas, nee pudet, adder e aquas : 
sunt ubi, 1 si vivunt, nostra quoque consita quaedam, 

sed non et nostra poma legenda manu. 
pro quibus amissis utinam contingere possit 
60 hie saltern profugo glaeba colenda mihi ! 
ipse ego pendentis, liceat modo, rupe capellas, 

ipse velim baculo pascere nixus oves ; 
ipse ego, ne solitis insistant pectora curis, 

ducam ruricolas sub iuga curva boves, 
65 et discam Getici quae norunt verba iuvenci, 

adsuetas illis acticiamque minas. 
ipse manu capulum pressi moderatus aratri 

experiar mota spargere semen humo. 
nee dubitem longis purgare ligonibus herbas, 
60 et dare iam sitiens quas bibat hortus aquas, 
unde sed hoc nobis, minimum quos inter et hostem 

discrimen murus clausaque porta facit ? 
at tibi nascenti, quod toto pectore laetor, 

nerunt fatales fortia fila deae. 
65 te modo Campus habet, densa modo porticus umbra 

nunc, in quo ponis tempora rara, forum. 
Umbria nunc revocat, nee non Albana petentem 

Appia ferventi ducit in arva rota. 

1 ibi 

1 Probably an estate near Alba. 

EX PONTO, I. vni. 39-68 

39 But, I suppose, the delights of the city have been 
taken from me in my wretchedness in such fashion 
that I may have at least what country joys I will ! 
It is not for the fields lost to me that my heart 
longs, the fair lands in the Paelignian country, nor 
for those gardens lying on the pine-clad hills which 
the Clodian and Flaminian roads survey them I 
tilled for I know not whom, in them I used in person 
to guide (nor am I ashamed to say it) the spring 
water upon the plants ; somewhere, if they still 
live, there are certain trees also planted by my hand, 
but never is my hand destined to gather their fruit. 
For all these losses would that it could be my lot 
even here to have in my exile a plot to till ! I would 
in person, if only I might, pasture the goats as they 
hang upon the crags, I would pasture the sheep as I 
leaned upon my staff ; that my breast might not 
dw T ell upon its usual cares I would myself lead the 
plough - oxen beneath the curving yoke, teaching 
myself the words which the Getic bullocks know, 
hurling at them the familiar threats. In person 
would I control the handle of the down-pressed 
plough and try to scatter seed in the furrowed earth. 
I would not shrink from clearing away the weeds 
with the long hoe and supplying the water for the 
thirsty garden to drink. But whence shall all this 
come to me between whom and the enemy there is 
only the breadth of a wall and a closed gate ? For 
you at birth my whole heart rejoices at this the 
fateful goddesses spun strong threads. You may 
stroll now in the Campus, now in the dusky shade of 
some portico, now in the forum, though you spend but 
little time there ; Umbria now calls you home, or as 
you seek your Albana, 1 the Appian road takes you 



forsitan hie optes, ut iustam supprimat iram 
70 Caesar, et hospitium sit tua villa meum. 

a ! nimium est, quod, amice, petis : moderatius opta, 

et voti quaeso contrahe vela tui. 
terra velim propior nullique obnoxia bello 

detur : erit l nostris pars bona dempta malis. 


Quae mihi de rapto tua 2 venit epistula Celso, 

protinus est lacrimis umida facta meis ; 
quodque nefas dictu, fieri nee posse putavi, 

invitis oculis littera lecta tua est. 
6 nee quicquam ad nostras pervenit acerbius aures, 

ut sumus in Ponto, perveniatque precor. 
ante meos oculos tamquam praesentis imago 

haeret, et extinctum vivere fmgit amor, 
saepe refert animus lusus gravitate carentes, 
10 seria cum liquida saepe peracta fide. 

nulla tamen subeunt mihi tempora densius illis, 

quae vellem vitae summa fuisse meae, 
cum domus ingenti subito mea lapsa ruina 

concidit in domini procubuitque caput. 
15 adfuit ille mihi, cum me pars magna reliquit, 

Maxime, fortunae nee fuit ipse comes, 
ilium ego non aliter flentem mea funera 3 vidi, 

ponendus quam si frater in igne foret. 
haesit in amplexu consolatusque iacentem est, 
20 cumque meis lacrimis miscuit usque suas. 
o quotiens vitae custos invisus amarae 

continuit promptas in mea fata manus ! 

1 erat 2 tua] nunc 8 vulnera 


EX PONTO, I. vra. 69 ix. 22 

to the country on glowing wheels. There perchance 
you may wish that Caesar would abate his just wrath 
and that your villa may entertain me. Alas ! 'tis 
too much that you ask, my friend ; utter a more 
modest wish, furl the sails of your prayer, I beg. 
My wish is for a land nearer home, one not exposed 
to war ; then a large part of my woes will be 


Your letter with its news of Celsus* death was 
forthwith wetted by my tears : and though 'tis an 
impious thing to say and, as I thought, impossible, a 
letter of yours was read with unwilling eyes. No- 
thing more grievous has reached my ears since I have 
been in the Pontus, and I pray that nothing more 
bitter will come. His image lingers before my eyes 
as if he were present ; he is gone, but love imagines 
him still alive. Often my heart recalls his gaiety 
freed from solemnity, often his serious tasks per- 
formed with transparent fidelity. But no hours come 
to my mind more frequently than those would they 
had been the latest of my life when my house on a 
sudden collapsed in utter ruin and fell upon its 
master's head. He stood by me when the greater 
part abandoned me, Maximus, and when he was not a 
partner in my fate. I saw him weeping my death as 
if perforce he had to lay his own brother in the flames. 
He clung to my embrace, he consoled me as I lay 
prostrate, he mingled his tears constantly with mine. 
How often did he, the then hated guardian of my 
bitter life, check the hands ready to bring about my 



o quotiens dixit " placabilis ira deorum est : 

vive nee ignosci tu tibi posse nega " ! 
25 vox tamen ilia fuit celeberrima, " respice, quantum 

debeat auxilium Maximus esse tibi. 
Maximus incumbet, quaque est pietate, rogabit, 

ne sit ad extremum Caesaris ira tenax ; 
cumque suis fratris vires adhibebit, et omnem, 
30 quo levius doleas, experietur opem." 

haec mihi verba malae minuerunt taedia vitae. 

quae tu ne fuerint, Maxime, vana cave, 
hue quoque venturum mihi se iurare solebat 

non nisi te longae ius sibi dante viae. 
35 nam tua non alio coluit penetralia ritu, 

terrarum dominos quam colis ipse deos. 
crede mihi, multos habeas cum dignus amicos, 

non fuit e multis quolibet ille minor, 
si modo non census nee clarum nomen avorum 
40 sed probitas magnos ingeniumque facit. 
iure igitur lacrimas Celso libamus adempto. 

cum fugerem, vivo quas dedit ille mihi : 
carmina iure damus raros testantia mores, 

ut tua venturi nomina, Celse, legant. 
45 hoc est, quod possum l Geticis tibi mittere ab arvis 

hoc solum est istic quod licet esse meum. 
funera non potui comitare nee ungere corpus, 

aque tuis toto dividor orbe rogis. 
qui potuit, quern tu pro numine vivus habebas, 
50 praestitit officium Maximus omne tibi. 
ille tibi exequias et magni funus honoris 

fecit et in gelidos versit 2 amoma sinus, 

1 possim 8 vertit corr. Heinsiua 


EX PONTO, I. ix. 23-52 

death ! How often did he say, " The wrath of the 
gods may be appeased. Live, and do not say that 
you cannot be pardoned " ! But his most frequent 
words were, " Think how great a help Maximus 
ought to be to you. Maximus will make every effort 
and, such is his loyalty, will beg that Caesar's wrath 
persist not to the end. Together with his own 
power he will employ that of his brother ; he will try 
every resource to lighten your pain." 

31 These words diminished the weariness I felt in my 
unfortunate life. Maximus, see to it that they were 
not empty. He was wont to swear that he would 
come to me even here and that no other but your- 
self would afford him the right to make the long 
journey. For he revered your house not otherwise 
than you worship the gods who are lords of the world. 
Believe me, although you possess deservedly many 
friends, he was in no degree inferior to any of them, 
if only 'tis true that not property nor the illustrious 
names of ancestors, but uprightness and character 
render men great. 

41 Rightly then do I grant the meed of tears to 
Celsus dead which he granted to me in life as I set 
forth to exile. Rightly do I bestow verses bearing 
witness to a rare character that those about to come 
may read of thy name, Celsus. This is all that I can 
send thee from the Getic land, this is the only thing 
there that I may have for mine own. I had not the 
power to follow thy funeral or anoint thy body : I am 
separated by the whole world from thy tomb. He 
who had the power, that Maximus whom thou didst 
in life regard as a god, bestowed upon thee every 
service. He conducted for thee a funeral with 
ceremonials of great honour, pouring the balsam upon 



diluit et lacrimis maerens unguenta profusis 

ossaque vicina condita texit humo. 
65 qui quoniam extinctis, quae debet, praestat amicis, 
et nos extinctis adnumerare potest. 


Naso suo profugus mittit tibi, Flacce, salutem, 

mittere rem siquis, qua caret ipse, potest. 
longus enim curis vitiatum corpus amaris 

non patitur vires languor habere suas. 
6 nee dolor ullus adest, nee febribus uror anhelis, 

et peragit soliti vena tenoris iter. 
os hebes est positaeque movent fastidia mensae, 

et queror, invisi cum venit bora cibi. 
quod mare, quod tellus, adpone quod educat aer, 
10 nil ibi, quod nobis esuriatur, erit. 

nectar et ambrosiam, latices epulasque deorum, 

det mihi formosa nava l luventa manu, 
non tanien exacuet torpens sapor ille palatum, 

stabit et in stomacho pondus inerte diu. 
15 haec ego non ausim, cum sint verissima, cuivis 

scribere, delicias ne mala nostra vocet. 
scilicet is status est, ea rerum forma mearum, 

deliciis etiam possit ut esse locus ! 
delicias illi precor has contingere, siquis 
20 ne mihi sit levior Caesaris ira timet. 

is quoque, qui gracili cibus est in corpore, somnus, 

non alit officio corpus inane suo. 
sed vigilo vigilantque mei sine fine dolores, 

quorum materiam dat locus ipse mihi. 
1 nava] grata 

1 i.e. show me the same devotion which in my case may 
result in help. , * Hebe. 

EX PONTO, I. ix. 53 x. 24 

thy cold breast . In grief he mingled with the unguents 
falling tears, laying thy bones to rest in the protec- 
tion of neighbouring ground. He, since to dead 
friends he pays the debt he owes, may reckon me 
also with the dead. 1 


Exiled Naso sends you a " Health/* Flaccus, if one 
can send a thing that he himself lacks. For long 
continued lassitude has impaired my frame with 
bitter cares and suffers it not to possess its proper 
strength. I have no pain, I do not burn and gasp 
with fever, my pulse continues its normal beat. But 
my mouth lacks taste, I feel aversion for the courses 
set before me, and complain whenever the hour for 
hateful eating comes. Serve me with any product 
of sea or land or air ; nothing will excite my hunger. 
Let nectar and ambrosia, the food and drink of the 
gods, be offered me by the shapely hand of busy 
Juventas, 2 yet that savour will not stimulate my 
sluggish palate and a weight will long remain in 
my inactive stomach. 

15 All this I should not venture to write to every- 
body, despite its truth, lest he should term my woes 
mere daintiness. Such in sooth is my condition, such 
is the nature of my circumstances that there is even 
the possibility of being dainty ! I pray such daintiness 
as this may be the lot of any who fears that Caesar's 
wrath may rest too lightly upon me ! 

21 Even that sleep which is food to a slender frame 
does not support as it should my impoverished body, 
but I am wakeful, my endless woes are wakeful too, 
for the place in which I am supplies them with 



25 vix igitur possis visos agnoscere vultus, 

quoque ierit quaeras qui fuit ante color, 
parvus in exiles sucus mihi pervenit artus, 

membraque sunt cera pallidiora nova, 
non haec inmodico contraxi damna Lyaeo : 
30 scis mihi quam solae paene bibantur aquae, 
non epulis oneror : quarum si tangar amore, 

est tamen in Geticis copia nulla locis. 
nee vires adimit Veneris damnosa voluptas : 

non solet in maestos ilia venire toros. 
35 unda locusque nocent et causa valentior istis, 

anxietas animi, quae mihi semper adest. 
haec nisi tu pariter simili cum fratre levares, 

vix mens tristitiae nostra tulisset onus, 
vos estis fracto tellus non dura phaselo, 
40 quamque negant multi, vos mihi fertis opem. 
ferte, precor, semper, quia semper egebimus ilia, 

Caesaris offensum dum mihi numen erit. 
qui meritam nobis minuat, non finiat, iram, 

suppliciter vestros quisque rogate deos. 


EX PONTO, I. x. 

material. Scarce could you recognize my features 
should you see them, and you would ask what has 
become of my former colour. But little vigour 
pervades my emaciated limbs ; I am paler than 
fresh wax. These troubles I have not brought upon 
myself by immoderate drinking you know that 
water is almost my only drink nor do I overload 
myself with food ; even if I had a passion for it, 
there is no opportunity in the Getic country. My 
strength is not impaired by Venus* ruinous passion ; 
she is not wont to approach the couch of sorrow. 
Tis the water and the country that injure me to- 
gether with a cause still stronger the mental worry 
which ever attends me. 

37 Unless you and, like you, your brother were miti- 
gating these woes, scarce would my mind have borne 
the burden of my sorrow. You are like a kindly 
land to a shattered boat ; you bring me the aid 
which many deny. Give it me always, I beseech you, 
for I shall always need it as long as divine Caesar 
shall feel anger against me. That he may lessen, 
not end, his deserved wrath, let each of you as sup- 
pliants implore your gods. 



Hue quoque Caesarei pervenit fama triumphi, 

languida quo fessi vix venit aura Noti. 
nil fore dulce mihi Scythica regione putavi : 

iam minus hie odio est, quam fuit ante, locus. 
6 tandem aliquid pulsa curarum nube serenum 

vidi, fortunae verba dedique meae. 
nolit ut ulla l mihi contingere gaudia Caesar, 

velle potest cuivis haec tamen una dari. 
di quoque, ut a cunctis hilari pietate colantur, 
10 tristitiam poni per sua festa iubent. 

denique, quod certus furor est audere fateri, 

hac ego laetitia, si vetet ipse, fruar. 
luppiter utilibus quotiens iuvat imbribus agros, 

mixta tenax segeti crescere lappa solet. 
16 nos quoque frugiferum sentimus inutilis herba 

numen, et invita saepe iuvamur ope. 
gaudia Caesareae mentis pro parte virili 

sunt mea : privati nil habet ilia domus. 
gratia, Fama, tibi, per quam spectata triumphi 
20 incluso mediis est mihi pompa Getis. 

1 noluit ilia 

1 Germanicus won the triumphal insignia (with Tiberius) 


Even to this place has the fame of Caesar's triumph 1 
penetrated, whither scarce comes the weak breath 
of weary Notus. No pleasant news have I ever 
looked for in the Scythian land, but now this place 
is less hateful than it was before. At last the clouds 
of care have burst asunder and I have glimpsed a bit 
of clear sky ; I have cheated my fate. E'en though 
Caesar may be unwilling that any joys befall me, yet 
this one joy it may be he wishes to have granted to 
everybody. Even the gods, to secure joyous worship 
from all, command men to lay aside sorrow through- 
out their feast days. In fine, though 'tis outright 
madness to dare the confession, this is a joy that I 
would make my own were he in person to forbid it. 

13 Whenever Jupiter floods the fields with helpful 
showers the tough burs are wont to grow mingled 
with the crops. I, too, useless weed though I am, 
feel the fructifying power, and am often benefited 
against his will. The joys of Caesar's heart are mine 
to the extent of my capacity ; that house has nothing 
that is private. Thanks, Fame, to thee through 
whom I, prisoned among the Getae, have seen the 

against the Dalmatians, A.D. 9, but the actual celebration 
was postponed because of the defeat of Varus. 



indice te didici, nuper visenda coisse 

innumeras gentes ad duels ora sui : 
quaeque capit vastis inmensum moenibus orbem, 

hospitiis Romam vix habuisse locum. 
25 tu mihi narrasti, cum multis lucibus ante 

fuderit assiduas nubilus Auster aquas, 
numine caelesti solem fulsisse serenum, 

cum populi vultu conveniente die, 
atque ita victorem cum magnae vocis honore 
30 bellica laudatis dona dedisse viris, 
claraque sumpturum pictas insignia vestes 

tura prius sanctis inposuisse focis, 
iustitiamque sui caste 1 placasse parentis, 

illo quae 2 templum pectore semper habet, 
36 quaque ierit felix adiectum plausibus omen, 

saxaque roratis erubuisse rosis ; 
protinus argento versos imitantia muros 

barbara cum pictis 3 oppida lata viris, 
fluminaque et montes et in altis proelia 4 silvis, 
40 armaque cum telis in strue mixta sua, 
deque tropaeorum, quod sol incenderit, 6 auro 

aurea Romani tecta fuisse fori, 
totque tulisse duces captivis 6 addita coin's 

vincula, paene hostis quot satis esse fuit. 
45 maxima pars horum vitam veniamque tulerunt, 

in quibus et belli summa caputque Bato. 7 
cur ego posse negem minui mihi numinis iram, 

cum videam mitis hostibus esse deos ? 
pertulit hie idem nobis, Germanice, rumor, 
50 oppida sub titulo nominis isse 8 tui . 

1 castae vel castos vel iustos corr. Scaliger a quo corr. Seal. 
8 victis * proelia Merkel] proflua vel pascua 

5 incenderet vel incenderat : incenderit r 
a captives ; captivis <r ' Bato] fuit vel tenet 8 esse 


EX PONTO, II. i. 21-50 

splendour of the triumph. By thy evidence I learned 
that recently countless races assembled to see their 
leader's face ; and Rome, that embraces the measure- 
less world within her vast walls, scarce had room for 
her guests. Thou didst tell me how, though for 
many days before the cloudy Auster poured forth 
constant rain, the sun through heavenly power shone 
bright, the day matching the looks of the people ; 
how the victor, honouring them with a loud voice, 
bestowed the warlike gifts upon the heroes he 
praised ; how as he was about to don the em- 
broidered vestments, the marks of glory, first he 
sprinkled incense on the sacred hearth, appeasing in 
purity the justice of his father which ever has a 
shrine in that breast ; how wherever he went, he 
received the happy omen of applause and the pave- 
ment blushed with dewy roses. Before him, silver 
counterparts of the conquered walls, barbarian towns 
were carried with pictured men upon them, rivers 
and mountains and battles in deep forests, shields and 
spears in a confused pile, and from the gold of the 
trophies kindled by the sun, the buildings of the 
Roman forum turned to gold. So many chieftains 
bore chains upon their vanquished necks that they 
could almost suffice to be the enemy. The greater 
part received life and pardon, among them even Bato, 
head and front of the war. Why should / deny that 
for rne the wrath of the deity cannot diminish when 
I see the gods merciful to an enemy ? 

49 The same report told rne, Germanicus, that 
towns 1 moved on under the title of thy name ; that 

1 Models or " floats " representing the towns. See 
note on Tr. iv. 2. 37. 

Y 321 


atque ea te contra nee muri mole nee armis 

nee satis ingenio tuta fuisse loci, 
di tibi dent annos, a te nam cetera sumes, 

sint modo virtu ti tempora longa tuae. 
65 quod precor, eveniet : sunt quiddam l oracula vatum : 

nam deus optanti prospera signa dedit. 
te quoque victorem Tarpeias scandere in arces 

laeta coronatis Roma videbit equis ; 
maturosque pater nati spectabit honores, 
60 gaudia percipiens, quae dedit ipse suis. 

iam nunc haec a me, iuvenum belloque togaque 

maxime, dicta tibi vaticinante nota. 
hunc quoque carminibus referam fortasse triumphum, 

sufficiet nostris si modo vita malis, 
65 imbuero Scythicas si non prius ipse sagittas, 

abstuleritque ferox hoc caput ense Getes. 
quae si me salvo dabitur tua laurea templis, 

omina bis dices vera fuisse mea. 


Ille domus vestrae primis venerator ab annis, 

pulsus ad Euxini Naso sinistra freti, 
mittit ab indomitis hanc, Messab'ne, salutem, 
quam solitus praesens est tibi ferre, Getis. 
6 ei mihi, si 2 lecto vultus tibi nomine non est 

qui fuit, et dubitas cetera perlegere ! 
perlege, nee mecum pariter mea verba relega : 

urbe licet vestra versibus esse meis. 
non ego concepi, si Pelion Ossa tulisset, 
10 clara mea tangi sidera posse manu, 

1 quaedam corr. Heinsius 2 si] quid 

1 This prophecy was fulfilled A.D. 18, when Germanicus 
triumphed over the Germans. 


EX PONTO, II. i. 5111. 10 

against thee they had been secure neither by massive 
walls nor arms nor skilful site. Gods grant thee 
years ! Thou thyself wilt supply all else, so but time 
enough be vouchsafed thy worth. My prayer shall 
be fulfilled ; the prophecies of poets are of some 
worth, for the god has given favourable sign in answer 
to my prayer. Thou too shalt climb as victor l the 
Tarpeian citadel, a joyful sight for Rome, with gar- 
landed steeds. Thy father shall see the ripe honours 
of his son, himself feeling the joy that he has given 
to his own. Even now, greatest of our youth in 
war and peace, mark these words of prophecy from 
me. That triumph also perchance I shall relate in 
song if only my life proves equal to my misfortunes, 
if 1 do not first stain Scythian arrows with my blood, 
if a fierce Getan does not take life from me with the 
sword. In my lifetime should thy laurel be dedicated 
in the temple thou wilt say that my prophecies have 
twice a come true. 


He who revered your house from his earliest years, 
Naso, the exile on Euxine's left-hand shore, 3 sends to 
you, Messalinus, from the land of the unconquered 
Getae this greeting which he used to offer face to 
face. Alas ! if at the reading of his name you have 
not the countenance you had of old and hesitate to 
read what remains. Yet read to the end, nor banish 
my words along with myself ; my verses are per- 
mitted to dwell in your city. I never imagined that 
should Ossa uphold Pelion, my hand could touch the 

2 i.e. Germanicus' triumph and the poet's promised eulogy, 
cf. v. 63. 3 Cf. Tr. iv. 1. 60 n. 



nee nos Enceladi dementia castra secuti 

in rerum dominos movimus arma deos, 
nee, quod Tydidae temeraria dextera fecit, 

numina sunt telis ulla petita meis. 
15 est mea culpa gravis, sed quae me perdere solum 

ausa sit, et nullum maius adorta nefas. 
nil nisi non sapiens possum timidusque vocari : 

haec duo sunt animi nomina vera mei. 
esse quidem fateor meritam post Caesaris iram 
20 difficilem precibus te quoque iure meis ; 
quaeque tua est pietas in totum nomen luli, 

te laedi, cum quis laeditur inde, putas. 
sed licet arma feras et vulnera saeva mineris, 

non tamen efficies ut timeare mihi. 
25 puppis Achaemeniden Graium Troiana recepit, 

profuit et Myso Pelias hasta duci. 
confugit interdum templi violator ad aram, 

nee petere offensi numinis horret opem. 
dixerit hoc aliquis tutum non esse. fatemur. 
30 sed non per placidas it mea puppis aquas. 
tuta petant alii : fortuna miserrima tuta est, 

nam timor eventus l deterioris abest. 
qui rapitur spumante salo, sua brachia tendens 

porrigit ad spinas duraque saxa manus, 2 
35 accipitremque timens 3 pennis trepidantibus ales 

audet ad humanos fessa venire sinus, 
nee se vicino dubitat committere tecto, 

quae fugit infestos territa cerva canes. 
da, precor, accessum lacrimis, mitissime, nostris, 
40 nee rigidam timidis vocibus obde for em, 

eventu z Vv. 33-34 nic T : corrupti in A cett. 

3 accipitrem metuens 


EX PONTO, II. n. 11-40 

bright stars ; I have not joined the mad camp of 
Enceladus and aroused war against the gods who rule 
the world ; I have not, like the rash hand of Tydeus' 
son, 1 aimed my spear against the gods. My fault is 
heavy, but 'tis one which has dared to destroy me 
alone, attempting no greater crime. No term save 
" senseless " and " timid " can be applied to me ; 
these are the two true words for my soul. It is 
indeed, I admit, after I deserved Caesar's anger, 
with justice that you are hard to my entreaties ; 
such is your devotion to all of the lulean 2 name that 
you are injured too if you think any of them is 
injured. But though you take arms and threaten 
me with cruel wounds, yet will you not make me 
fear you. The ship of a Trojan succoured Achae- 
menides, Greek though he was ; the Pelian spear 
helped the My si an chieftain. 3 Sometimes the 
violator of a temple takes refuge at the altar, not 
dreading to seek the aid of the angered god. Some- 
one may say this is not safe. I admit it ; but it is not 
through calm waters that my bark sails. Let safety 
be the quest of others ; uttermost misery is safe, for 
it lacks fear of an outcome still worse. One who is 
being hurried along by the foaming sea stretches out 
his arms and grasps at thorns and hard rocks ; in 
fear of the hawk a bird on trembling wings ventures 
in weariness to come to man's protection ; the doe 
hesitates not to trust herself to a house hard by when 
she flees in terror from her enemies, the hounds. 

29 Grant, I beseech you, gentle friend, comfort to 
my tears, shut not an unyielding door upon my timid 

1 Diomed, who wounded both Mars and Venus. 
2 The Julii claimed descent from lulus, son of Aeneas. 
3 Telephus. 



verbaque nostra favens Romana ad numina perfer, 

non tibi Tarpeio culta Tonante minus, 
mandatique mei legatus suscipe causam : 

nulla meo quamvis nomine causa bona est. 
45 iam prope depositus, certe iam frigidus aeger, 

servatus per te, si modo server, ero. 
nunc tua pro lassis nitatur gratia rebus, 

principis aeterni quam tibi praestat amor, 
nunc tibi et eloquii nitor ille domesticus adsit, 
60 quo poteras trepidis utilis esse reis. 
vivit enim in vobis facundi lingua parentis, 

et res hcredem repperit ilia suum. 
hanc ego, non ut me defendere temptet, adoro : 

non est confessi causa tuenda rei. 
65 num tamen excuses erroris origine factum, 

an nihil expediat tale movere, vide, 
vulneris id genus est quod, cum sanabile non sit, 

non contrectari tutius esse puto. 
lingua, sile ! non est ultra narrabile quicquam. 
60 posse velim cineres obruere ipse meos. 
sic igitur, quasi me nullus deceperit error, 

verba fac, ut vita, quam dedit ipse, 1 fruar ; 
cumque serenus erit vultusque remiserit illos, 

qui secum terras imperiumque movent, 
C5 exiguam ne me praedam sinat esse Getarum, 

detque solum miserae mite, precare, fugae. 
tempus adest aptum precibus. valet ille videtque 

quas fecit vires, Roma, valere tuas. 
incolumis 2 coniunx sua pulvinaria servat ; 
70 promovet Ausonium filius imperium ; 

1 ipse] ille 2 incolumi 


EX PONTO, II. ii. 41-70 

pica, favour me and carry my words to the Roman 
gods whom you worship no less than the Tarpeian 
thunderer ; be the envoy of my message and under- 
take my cause, though no cause in my name is good. 
Already nearly dead, at least a sick man who already 
feels death's chill, I shall be saved by you if only I am 
saved at all. Now in behalf of weakness let that 
influence struggle which the love of the eternal 
Prince bestows upon you. Now employ the brilliant 
eloquence of your house with which you have been 
able to bring aid to trembling accused. For in you 
both l lives the eloquent tongue of your father, which 
has found in you its heir. To this I turn, not that it 
may try to defend me ; one should not defend the 
cause of an accused who makes confession. Yet 
consider whether you may palliate my act through 
the source of my mistake or if it would be well to stir 
up no such matter. The wound is of such sort that, 
since it is past healing, I deem it safer that it be not 
touched. Silence, tongue ! Nothing further can be 
told ! Would I could bury my own ashes ! 

61 So then, as if I had been beguiled by no mistake, 
frame your plea that I may enjoy the life he granted 
me. When he is serene, when there is peace upon 
those lineaments whose motion stirs the empire and 
the world, beg him not to permit me to be a poor 
spoil for the Getae, to grant a peaceful land for 
my wretched exile. A fitting time is at hand for 
petitions : well is he and well, he sees, is it with 
the work of his hands thy strength, O Rome. In 
safety his consort guards her divine couch ; his son 2 
is pushing out the bounds of the Ausonian empire ; 

1 i.e. Messalinus and his brother Cotta Maximus. 
2 Tiberius. 



praeterit ipse suos animo Germanicus annos, 

nee vigor est Drusi nobilitate minor, 
adde nurus l neptesque pias natosque nepotuin 

ceteraque Augustae membra valere domus ; 
76 adde triumphatos modo Paeonas, adde quieti 

subdita montanae brachia Dalmatiae. 
nee dedignata est abiectis Illyris armis 

Caesar eum famulo vertice ferre pedem. 
ipse super currum placido spectabilis ore 
80 tempora Phoebea virgine nexa tulit. 

quern pia vobiscum proles comitavit euntem, 

digna parente suo nominibusque datis, 
fratribus adsimiles, 2 quos proxima templa tenentis 

divus ab excelsa lulius aede videt. 
85 his Messalinus, quibus omnia cedere debent, 

primum laetitiae non negat esse locum, 
quicquid ab his superest, venit in certamen arnoris : 

hac hominum nulli parte secundus erit. 
hanc colet ante diem qua, quae 3 decreta merenti, 
90 venit honoratis laurea digna comis. 

felices, quibus, o, 4 licuit spectare triumphos 

et ducis ore deos aequiperante frui ! 
at mihi Sauromatae pro Caesaris ore videndi 

terraque pads inops undaque vincta 6 gelu. 
95 si tamen haec audis et vox mea pervenit istuc, 6 

sit tua mutando gratia blanda loco. 

1 nurum 2 ad&imilis 

8 quamque vel qua quam (quamquam) : qua quae Owen 
* o] hos 6 iuncta 6 illuc, sed cf. istae A 

1 Drusus, son of Tiberius. 

8 Nurus neptesque is a general expression for the youngei 
women of the imperial house, especially Agrippina anc 
Livilla. Augustus had no son of his own, ana the onlj 
person who at this time could in any sense be called hii 

EX PONTO, II. n. 71-96 

the spirit of Germanicus outruns his years, and the 
energy of Drusus l is not unequal to his noble birth. 
Add too that his daughters-in-law, 2 his loyal grand- 
daughters, the sons of his grandsons all the members 
of the Augustan house are well. Add the triumph 
over Paeonia, 3 add the right arms of mountainous 
Dalmatia constrained to peace. Illyria has not dis- 
dained to throw aside her arms and submit her 
enslaved head to a Caesar's foot. He himself, 4 con- 
spicuous with calm aspect in his car, bore his temples 
garlanded by Phoebus' maid. 5 His loyal sons 6 in your 7 
company attended him as he advanced, worthy of 
their parent and of the names conferred upon them, 
like unto the brethren 8 dwelling in the neighbouring 
temple whom the divine Julius beholds from his lofty 
shrine. To these 9 to whom all things ought to yield 
Messalinus refuses not the foremost place in rejoic- 
ing : all that these do not claim is matter for affec- 
tion's rivalry ; therein to no man will he take second 
place. Before all else he will venerate this day on 
which the laurel decreed for merit has been worthily 
placed upon honoured locks. 

91 Oh happy they to whom it has been vouchsafed 
to view the triumph, to enjoy the godlike countenance 
of the general ! But I must gaze upon the Sauromatae 
in place of Caesar's face, upon a land devoid of 
peace, and waters in the bonds of frost. Yet if you 
hear my words, if my voice can reach so far, let your 
winning influence work to change my abode. This is 

daughter-in-law was Antonia, the widow of his stepson 
Drusus. 3 i.e. Pannonia. 

4 Tiberius, the Caesar just mentioned. 5 Daphne, the laurel. 

Germanicus (adopted son) and Drusus. 

7 i.e. Messalinus and Cotta Maximus, cf. 1. 51. 

8 Castor and Pollux. 9 i.e. the emperor and his house. 



hoc pater ille tuus primo mihi cultus ah aevo, 

siquid habet sensus umbra diserta, petit, 
hoc petit et frater, quamvis fortasse veretur 
100 servandi noceat ne tibi cura mei. 

tota domus rogat hoc, nee tu potes ipse negare 

et nos in turbae parte fuisse tuae. 
ingenii certe, quo nos male sensimus usos, 

Artibus exceptis, saepe probator eras. 
105 nee mea, si tantum peccata novissima demas, 

esse potest domui vita pudenda tuae. 
sic igitur vestrae vigeant penetralia gentis, 

curaque sit superis Caesaribusque tui : 
mite, sed iratum merito mihi, nurnen adora, 
110 eximat x ut Scythici me 2 feritate loci. 

difficile est, fateor, sed tendit in ardua virtus, 

et talis meriti gratia maior erit. 
nee tamen Aetnaeus vasto Polyphemus in antro 

accipiet voces Antiphatesve tuas, 
115 sed placidus facilisque parens veniaeque paratus, 

et qui fulmineo saepe sine igne tonat. 
qui cum triste aliquid statuit, fit tristis et ipse, 

cuique fere poenam sumere poena sua est. 
victa tamen vitio est huius dementia nostro, 
120 venit et ad vires ira coacta suas. 

qui quoniam patria toto sumus orbe remoti, 

nee licet ante ipsos procubuisse deos, 
quos colis, ad superos haec fer mandata sacerdos, 

adde sed et proprias ad mea verba preces. 
125 sic tamen haec tempta, si non nocitura putabis. 

ignosces. timeo naufragus omne fretum. 

1 eximar 2 me ow. : add. S~ 


EX PONTO, II. n. 97-126 

the request of your famed father whom I worshipped 
from my earliest youth, if his shade, still eloquent, 
has aught of sentience. This is the request of your 
brother too, though perchance he may fear that care 
in saving me may bring you harm. All your house 
ask this, nor can you yourself say that I too was not 
once a member of your throng. At least my talent, 
which, as I have learned to feel, I have used but ill, 
was oft, except only my " Art/' the subject of your 
praise. Nor can my life, so you but take away its 
latest sins, bring shame upon your house. So, 
therefore, may the home of your race thrive, so may 
those above, together with the Caesars, watch over you 
on condition that you implore that deity, so merci- 
ful yet justly angry with me, to remove me from the 
wildness of the Scythian land. Tis hard, I admit, 
yet virtue aims at what is hard, and gratitude for 
such a service will be all the greater. No Poly- 
phemus in the lonely caverns of Aetna, no Anti- 
phates will receive your words, but a calm and lenient 
father ready to pardon, who often thunders without 
the aid of the fiery lightning, who after a harsh 
decision is himself saddened, who usually lays a 
penalty upon himself whenever he exacts one. Yet 
his mercy was defeated by my fault, his wrath by 
compulsion reached its full strength. But I am 
separated from my country by the whole w r orld's 
span, 1 cannot throw myself before the deity's feet. 
You worship him : be my priest and carry to him my 
message, but add your own prayers to my words. 
Yet try this only if you feel it will not injure me. 
Pardon ! I am a shipwrecked man who fears every 




Maxime, qui claris nomen virtu tibus aequas, 

nee sinis ingenium nobilitate premi, 
culte mihi quid enim status hie a funere differt 

supremum vitae tempus adusque meae, 
6 rem facis, afflictum non aversatus amicum, 

qua non est aevo rarior ulla tuo. 
turpe quidem dictu, sed, si modo vera fatemur, 

vulgus amicitias utilitate probat. 
cura,quid expediat,prius est,quam quid sit honestum, 
10 et cum fortuna statque caditque fides, 
nee facile invenias 1 multis in milibus unum, 

virtutem pretium qui putet esse sui. 
ipse decor, recte facti si praemia desint, 

non movet, et gratis paenitet esse probum. 
15 nil 2 nisi quod prodest carum est : sed 3 detrahe menti 

spem fructus avidae, nemo petendus erit. 
at reditus iam quisque suos amat, et sibi quid sit 

utile, sollicitis supputat articulis. 
illud amicitiae quondam venerabile numen 4 
20 prostat et in quaestu pro meretrice sedet. 
quo magis admiror, non, ut torrentibus undis, 

communis vitii te quoque labe trahi. 
diligitur nemo, nisi cui fortuna secunda est : 

quae, simul intonuit, proxima quaeque fugat. 
25 en ego, non paucis quondam munitus amicis, 

dum flavit velis aura secunda meis, 
ut fera nimboso tumuerunt aequora vento, 

in mediis lacera nave relinquor aquis ; 
cumque alii nolint etiam me nosse videri, 
30 vix duo proiecto tresve tulistis opem. 


1 invenies 2 nil] et 

3 sed] si vel et vel en 4 nomen 

EX PONTO, II. in. 1-30 


Maximus, you who match your name with illus- 
trious virtues nor permit your nature to be eclipsed by 
your noble birth, I have revered you for in what does 
my condition differ from death ? even unto my life's 
latest day. In not disowning an unfortunate friend 
you perform an act than which none is rarer in the 
age in which you live. Shameful it is to say, yet 
the common herd, if only we admit the truth, value 
friendships by their profit. They care more for 
advantage than for honour, and their loyalty stands 
or falls with fortune : nor can one easily find among 
many thousands a single man who considers virtue 
its own reward. The very glory of a good deed, if it 
lacks rewards, affects men not ; unrewarded upright- 
ness brings them regret. Nothing but profit is 
prized ; only take from the greedy mind hope of gain 
and nobody will be the object of attentions. Nowa- 
days everybody loves his own income and reckons on 
anxious fingers what is of service to himself. That 
once revered goddess of friendship is exposed for sale, 
awaiting gain like a courtesan. 

21 So my admiration is the greater that you too are 
not carried away, as by a torrent, by the corruption of 
a common vice. There is love for none except him 
whom fortune favours ; when once she thunders she 
puts all around to flight. Behold me ! once sup- 
ported by many friends while a favouring breeze 
filled my sails now that the wild seas have been 
swelled by the stormy wind, I am abandoned on a 
shattered bark in the midst of the waters. While 
others would not even seem to know me, there were 
but two or three of you who aided me when I was 



quorum tu princeps. neque enim comes esse, sed 


nee petere exemplum, sed dare dignus eras, 
te, nihil exactos 1 nisi nos 2 peccasse fatentem, 

sponte sua probitas officiumque iuvat. 
35 iudice te mercede caret per seque petenda est 

externis virtus incomitata bonis. 
turpe putas abigi, 3 quia sit miserandus, amicum, 

quodque sit infelix, desinere esse tuum. 
mitius est lasso digitum supponere mento, 
40 mergere quam liquidis ora natantis aquis. 

cerne quid Aeacides post mortem praestet amico : 

instar et hanc vitam mortis habere puta. 
Pirithoum Theseus Stygias comitavit ad undas : 

a Stygia quantum mors mea distat aqua ? 
45 adfuit insano iuvenis Phoceus Orestae : 

et mea non minimum culpa furoris habet. 
tu quoque magnorum laudes admitte virorum, 

ut facis, 4 et lapso quam potes after opem. 
si bene te novi, si, qui 5 prius esse solebas, 
50 nunc quoque es, atque animi non cecidere tui, 
quo Fortuna magis saevit, magis ipse resistis, 

utque decet, ne te vicerit ilia, caves ; 
et bene uti pugnes, bene pugnans efficit hostis. 

sic eadem prodest causa nocetque mihi. 
55 scilicet indignum, iuvenis carissime, ducis 

te fieri comitem stantis in orbe deae. 
firmus es, et quoniam non sunt ea, qualia velles, 
vela regis quassae qualiacumque ratis. 

1 ex acto : exactos Ehwald z nos] non ve I vos 

3 abici 4 utque facis (et om.) 

* qui, cf. quid A] quis: quod ~ 


EX PONTO, II. m. 31-58 

cast forth. And you were foremost ; for you were 
suited not to be their comrade, but their leader, not 
to seek an example, but to offer one. You who admit 
that I, the exiled one, did naught but " err," take 
pleasure in uprightness and duty for their own sakes. 
In your judgment worth is dissevered from reward 
and is to be sought for herself, even unaccompanied 
by outward goods. You think it base to drive away 
a friend because he is to be pitied, to forbid him your 
friendship because he is ill-starred. Tis more merci- 
ful to support his weary chin even with a finger than 
to thrust the swimmer's face beneath the clear waves. 
41 See what the scion T of Aeacus does for his friend 2 
after death, and remember that this life of mine also 
is like unto death ! Pirithous had Theseus' company 
to the waves of the Styx ; how far is my death from 
the Stygian water ? Crazed Orestes was helped by 
the Phocean youth 3 ; my fault too involves no little 
madness. Do you also accept the praise meet for 
mighty heroes, as you are doing, and bring what aid 
you can to one who is fallen. If I know you well, if 
even now you are what you used to be, and your 
courage has not failed you, the greater Fortune's 
rage, the more do you resist her, taking care, as is 
fitting, that she does not conquer you ; and your own 
fight is rendered strong by the strong battling of the 
foe. Thus the same thing both helps and injures me. 
Yea, 'tis an unworthy thing in your sight, dear youth, 
to become a companion of the goddess who stands on 
the sphere. You are steadfast and since the sails of 
the battered ship are not what you would wish, you 
control them, such as they are. The craft is so 

1 Achilles. 2 Patroclus. 3 Pyludes. 



quaeque ita concussa est, ut iam casura putetur, 
60 restat adhuc umeris fulta ruina tuis. 
ira quidem primo fuerat tua iusta, nee ipso 

lenior, offensus qui mihi iure fuit. 
quique dolor pectus tetigisset Caesaris alti, 

ilium iurabas protinus esse tuum. 
C5 ut tamen audita est nostrae tibi cladis origo, 

diceris erratis ingemuisse meis. 
turn tua me primum solari littera coepit 

et laesum flecti spem dare posse deum. 
movit amicitiae turn te constantia longae, 
70 ante tuos ortus quae mihi coepta fuit, 
et quod eras aliis factus, mihi natus amicus, 

quodque tibi in cunis oscula prima dedi. 
quod, cum vestra domus teneris mihi semper ab annis 

culta sit, esse vetus me tibi cogit 1 onus. 
76 me tuus ille pater, Latiae facundia linguae, 

quae non inferior nobilitate fuit, 
primus ut auderem committere carmina famae 

impulit : ingenii dux fuit ille mei. 
nee quo sit primum nobis a tempore cultus 
80 contendo fratrem posse referre tuum. 

te tamen ante omnis ita sum conplexus, ut unus 

quolibet in casu gratia nostra fores, 
ultima me tecum vidit maestisque cadentes 

excepit lacrimas Aethalis Ilva 2 genis : 
85 cum tibi quaerenti, num verus nuntius esset, 

attulerat culpae quern mala fama meae, 
inter confessum dubie 3 dubieque negantem 

haerebam, pavidas dante timore notas, 
exemploque nivis, quam mollit aquaticus Auster, 
90 gutta per attonitas ibat oborta genas. 

1 mine tibi cogor 2 aeithali silva etc. corr. Rutgers 

3 dubie] medius : om. A 

EX PONTO, II. m. 59-90 

shattered that men expect it to founder at once, but 
your shoulders still support the wreck. At first 
indeed your wrath was just nor milder than his who 
was rightly angered against me. The feeling which 
had touched the breast of lofty Caesar that feeling 
you swore forthwith was yours. Yet when you 
heard the cause of my disaster, they say you groaned 
over my mistake. At that time your letter was the 
first to comfort me, bringing the hope that the injured 
god could be moved. Then you were stirred by 
the constancy of long friendship that began before 
your birth, because for others you had become, for 
me you had been born, a friend, because I gave you 
the first kisses in your cradle. This, since I have 
constantly revered your house from my earliest 
years, makes me perforce a burden of long standing 
upon you . That famed father of yours , the eloquence 
of the Latin tongue, not inferior to his noble birth, 
first urged me to venture upon the publication of my 
verse : he was the guide of my genius. Nor can 
your brother, I maintain, recall the time of my first 
honour to him. But to you above all I clung so 
close that you alone, whate'er befell, were my source 
of favour. Aethalian Ilva l last saw us together and 
received the tears as they fell from our sorrowing 
cheeks. Then at your question whether the news 
was true which the ill repute of my sin had brought, 
I wavered between dubious confession and dubious 
denial, fear telling the tale of my timidity, and like 
the snow which rainy Auster melts tears of dismay 
welled up and coursed along my cheeks. And so as 
1 The modern Elba. 

z 337 


haec igitur referens et quod mea crimina primi 

erroris venia posse latere vides, 
respicis antiquum lassis in rebus amicum, 

fomentisque iuvas vulnera nostra tuis. 
95 pro quibus optandi si nobis copia fiat, 

tarn bene promerito commoda mille precer. 1 
sed si sola mihi dentur tua vota, precabor 

ut tibi sit salvo Caesare salva parens. 
haec ego, cum faceres altaria pinguia ture, 
100 te soli turn memini prima rogare deos. 


Accipe conloquium gelido Nasonis ab Histro, 

Attice, iudicio non dubitande meo. 
ecquid adhuc remanes memor infelicis amici, 

deserit an partis languida cura suas ? 
6 non ita di mihi sunt tristes, ut credere possim 

fasque putem iam te non meminisse mei. 
ante oculos nostros posita est 2 tua semper imago, 

et videor vultus mente videre tuos. 
seria multa mihi tecum conlata recorder, 
10 nee data iucundis tempora pauca iocis. 
saepe citae longis visae sermonibus horac, 

saepe fuit brevior quam mea verba dies, 
saepe tuas venit factum rnodo carmen ad aim's 

et nova iudicio subdita Musa tuo est. 
15 quod tu laudaras, populo placuisse putabam. 

hoc pretium curae dulce regentis 3 erat. 
utque meus lima rasus liber esset amici, 

non semel admonitu facta litura tuo est. 

1 precor corr. Heinsivs 

2 posit a est] tua est vel tua stat etc. 

3 recent is vel monentis 


EX PONTO, II. m. 91 iv. 18 

you recall this, seeing that 'tis possible for my sin, 
by condoning my original mistake, to lie unnoticed, 
you take thought of your old friend in his misfortunes, 
you soothe and help my wounds. For this, should 
full petition be granted me, I should invoke a thou- 
sand blessings upon you for your kindly service, but 
if I be allowed only your own vows, I will pray, after 
Caesar's weal, for that of your mother. This, when 
you enriched the altar with incense, you were wont 
to ask first of all, I remember, of the gods. 


Let Naso converse with you from the freezing 
Hister, Atticus, friend whom my judgment should 
not doubt. Do you still remain at all mindful of 
your unhappy friend or has your regard grown weak 
and abandoned its role ? The gods are not so harsh 
to me that I can believe and deem it just that 
you no longer think of me. Before my eyes your 
image ever stands ; I seem in thought to see your 
features. I recall many serious talks that we have 
had and not a few hours given over to pleasant jest. 
Oft did the hours seem too swift for our long talks, oft 
the day was too short for my words. Oft came to 
your ears a poem I had just composed ; a new effort 
was subjected to your criticism. What you had 
praised I considered had already pleased the public ; 
this was the pleasant reward of my critic's care. To 
have my book touched by the file of a friend I have 
more than once made an erasure at your suggestion. 



nos fora viderunt pariter, nos porticus omnis, 
20 nos via, nos iunctis curva theatra locis. 
denique tantus amor nobis, carissime, semper, 

quantus in Aeacide Nestorideque fuit. 
non ego, si biberes securae pocula Lethes, 

excidere haec credam pectore posse tuo. 
25 longa dies citius brumali sidere, noxque 

tardior hiberna solstitialis erit, 
nee Babylon aestum, nee frigora Pontus habebit, 

calthaque Paestanas vincet odore rosas, 
quam tibi nostrarum veniant oblivia rerum. 
oO non ita pars fati Candida nulla mei est. 
ne tamen haec dici possit fiducia mendax 

stultaque credulitas nostra fuisse, cave, 
constantique fide veterem tutare sodalem, 

qua licet et quantum non onerosus ero. 


Condita disparibus numeris ego Naso Salano 

praeposita misi verba salute meo. 
quae rata sit, cupio, rebusque ut comprobet omen, 

te precor a salvo possit, amice, legi. 
6 candor, in hoc aevo res intermortua paene, 

exigit ut faciam talia vota tuus. 
nam fuerim quamvis modico tibi iunctus ab usu, 

diceris exiliis indoluisse meis ; 
missaque ab Euxino legeres cum carmina Ponto, 
10 ilia tuus iuvit qualiacumque favor ; 

optastique brevem solvi * mihi Caesaris iram, 

quod tamen optari, si sciat, ipse sinat. 
moribus ista tuis tarn mitia vota dedisti, 

nee minus idcirco sunt ea grata mihi. 
1 solvi Postffate] salvi vel fieri 

EX PONTO, II. iv. 19 v. 14. 

The fora saw us side by side, every portico, every 
street ; the hollow theatre found us in adjoining 
seats. In short our affection, dear friend, was always 
as strong as that of the scions of Aeacus and Nestor. 
Not even were you drinking draughts of care- 
dispelling Lethe, could I believe that all this could 
fall from your heart. Sooner shall the long days come 
to pass in winter, sooner shall the nights of summer 
be longer than those of winter, Babylon have no 
heat, Pontus no cold, sooner shall the lily surpass the 
Paestan rose in perfume than you shall forget your 
relations with me. Not so black is any part of my 
fate. But beware lest this trust of mine be called 
fallacious or my belief foolish ; with steadfast faith 
defend your old comrade in what way you can and in 
so far as I shall not be burdensome. 


A poem framed in unequal numbers I, Naso, send 
to my Salanus, prefaced by a wish for his weal. May 
this be so, I earnestly desire, and I pray that you, my 
friend, to prove the omen in fact, may be able to read 
it safe and sound. Your noble nature, a thing almost 
at the point of death in this age, requires such prayer 
from me. For though I was joined to you by only 
moderate association, they say that you have grieved 
over my exile ; when you read verses sent from the 
Euxine Pontus, your kindness helped them whatever 
their worth ; you wished that Caesar's wrath might 
soon be relaxed * in my favour a wish that he him- 
self would permit if he knew it. To your character 
was due so kind a wish, and it is none the less pleasing 
1 The text is not certain. 



15 quoque magis moveare malis, doctissime, nostris, 

credibile est fieri condicione loci, 
vix hac invenies totum, mihi crede, per orbem, 

quae minus Augusta pace fruatur humus, 
tu tamen hie structos inter fera proelia versus 
20 et legis et lectos ore favente probas, 
ingenioque meo, vena quod paupere manat, 

plaudis, et e rivo flumina magna facis. 
grata quidem sunt haec ammo suffragia nostro, 

vix sibi cum miseros posse placere putes. 1 
25 durn tamen in rebus temptamus carmina parvis, 

materiae gracili sufficit ingenium. 
nuper, ut hue magni pervenit fama triumphi, 

ausus sum tantae sumere molis opus, 
obruit audentem rerum gravitasque nitorque, 
30 nee potui coepti pondera ferre mei. 
illic, quam laudes, erit officiosa voluntas : 

cetera materia debilitata iacent. 
qui si forte liber vestras pervenit ad auris, 

tutelam mando sentiat ille tuam. 
35 hoc tibi facturo, vel si non ipse rogarem, 

accedat cumulus gratia nostra levis. 
non ego laudandus, sed sunt tua pectora, lacte 

et non calcata candidiora nive : 
mirarisque alios, cum sis mirabilis ipse, 
40' nee lateant artes eloquiumque tuum. 

te iuvenum princeps, cui dat Germania nomen, 
participem studii Caesar habere solet. 

1 putas vel putat 

EX PONTO, II. v. 15-42 

to me for that reason. You are all the more affected 
by my misfortunes, accomplished friend, because, I 
believe, of the character of my place of exile. You 
will scarce find in the whole world, I assure you, a 
land that enjoys so little the Augustan Peace. 

19 Yet you are reading here verses composed amid 
fierce battles, and when you have read, your 
favouring lips approve them. My talent, trickling 
now in so impoverished a stream, wins your applause 
and from a rivulet you make a mighty river. Gratify- 
ing indeed to my soul is this suffrage of yours, even 
though one might think that the wretched can scarce 
be pleased with themselves. Still so long as I 
attempt verse on humble themes my talent is equal 
to the meagre subject. Recently when the report of 
a mighty triumph reached me, I ventured to under- 
take a work 1 of great difficulty. My venture was 
overwhelmed by the grandeur and splendour of the 
theme ; I was not able to bear up under the weight of 
my task. Therein you will find worthy of praise the 
will to do my duty ; all else lies overpowered by the 
subject. If perchance that composition has reached 
your ear, I direct that it may know your protection. 
To you, who would do this even if I did not ask it in 
person, let your favour to me contribute as a sligty; 
incentive. I do not deserve your praise, but your 
heart is whiter than milk, than untrodden snow ; you 
feel admiration for others, though you are worthy of 
it yourself since your accomplishments and your 
eloquence are open to the view of all. 

41 You are wont to share the studies of the leader of 
the youth, that Caesar on whom Germany bestows a 

1 Perhaps the elegy to Germanicus (Ex P. ii. 1). 



tu comes antiquus, tu primis iunctus ab annis 

ingenio mores aequiperante places. 
45 te dicente prius fit protinus impetus illi : 
teque habet elicias qui sua verba tuis. 
cum tu desisti mortaliaque ora quierunt 
tectaque non longa conticuere mora, 
surgit luleo iuvenis cognomine dignus, 
60 qualis ab Eois Lucifer ortus aquis. 

dumque silens adstat, status est vultusque diserti, 

spemque decens doctae vocis amictus l habet. 
mox, ubi pulsa mora est atque os caeleste solutum, 

hoc superos iures more solere loqui, 
55 atque " haec est " dicas " facundia principe digna " : 

eloquio tantum nobilitatis inest. 
huic tu cum placeas et vertice sidera tangas, 
scripta tamen profugi vatis habenda putas. 
scilicet ingeniis aliqua est concordia iunctis, 
CO et servat studii foedera quisque sui : 

rusticus agricolam, miles fera bella gerentem, 

rectorem dubiae navita puppis amat. 
tu quoque Pieridum studio, studiose, teneris, 

ingenioque faves, ingeniose, meo. 
65 distat opus nostrum, sed fontibus exit ab isdem : 

artis et ingenuae cultor uterque sumus. 
thyrsus abest a te, 2 gustata 3 est laurea nobis, 

sed tamen ambobus debet inesse calor : 
utque meis numeris tua dat facundia nervos, 
70 sic venit a nobis in tua verba nitor. 

1 amicus corr. Heinsius 

2 abest a te Rothmaler] sublestate (A) vel ubi est a te vel 
enim vobis * gestata 

1 See note on Ex P. i. 1. 46. 

2 The Romans laid great stress on the grace and appro- 
priateness of the orator's dress. 


EX PONTO, II. v. 43-70 

name. You have been for long his companion, you 
have been in union with him from his earliest years, 
finding favour with him by virtue of a talent that 
equals your character. Under your guidance as a 
speaker he forthwith attains fiery eloquence, in you 
he has one to lure forth his words by your own. When 
you have finished and mortal lips have become quiet, 
closed in silence for a short space, then arises the 
youth worthy of the lulean l name, as rises Lucifer 
from the eastern waters, and as he stands in silence, 
his posture, his countenance are those of an orator, 
and his graceful robe gives hope of eloquent words. 2 
Then after a pause he opens his godlike lips and one 
might take oath that the gods above speak in this 
fashion. One might exclaim, " This is eloquence 
worthy of a prince," such nobility is in his utterance. 
67 Though you find favour with this youth, touching 
the very stars with your head, yet you consider the 
writings of an exiled bard w r orthy of consideration. 
Surely there is some bond of harmony between 
kindred spirits, each keeping the compacts that 
belong to his pursuit. The peasant loves the farmer, 
the soldier him who wages war, the sailor the pilot of 
the swaying ship. You too are possessed with de- 
votion to the Pierians, studious one ; you, talented 
yourself, look with favour on my talent. Our work 
differs, but it derives from the same sources ; we are 
both worshippers of liberal art. You have no thyrsus, 
I have tasted the laurel ; 3 but there should be fire 
in us both : as my numbers receive vigour from 
your eloquence, so I lend brilliance to your words. 

8 Thyrsus, a symbol of poetic inspiration which was also 
thought to be caused by tasting laurel, cf. Juv. vii. 19 
laurumque momordit. But the text is far from certain. 



iure igitur studio confinia carmina vestro 
et commilitii sacra tuenda putas. 

pro quibus ut maneat, de quo censeris, amicus, 

comprecor ad vitae tempora summa tuae, 
75 succedatque suis l orbis moderator 2 habcnis : 
quod mecum populi vota precantur idem. 


Carmine Graecinum, qui praesens voce solebat, 

tristis ab Euxinis Naso salutat aquis. 
exulis haec vox est : praebet mihi littera linguam, 

et si non liceat scribere, mutus ero. 
5 corripis, ut debes, stulti peccata sodalis, 

et mala me meritis ferre minora doces. 3 
vera facis, sed sera meae convicia culpae : 

aspera confesso verba remitte reo. 
cum poteram recto transire Ceraunia velo, 
10 ut fera vitarem saxa, monendus eram. 

nunc mihi naufragio quid prodest discere 4 facto, 

qua mea debuerit currere cumba via ? 
brachia da lasso potius prendenda natanti, 

nee pigeat mento supposuisse manum. 
15 idque facis, faciasque precor : sic mater et uxor, 

sic tibi sint fratres totaque salva domus, 
quodque soles ammo semper, quod voce precari, 

omnia Caesaribus sic tua facta probes. 

1 tuis a moderatus 3 doles corr. Faber 

4 dicere 


EX PONTO, II. 18 v. 71 vi. 

By right then you think my poetry connected with 
your pursuit and you believe that the rites of our 
common warfare should be preserved. Therefore 
may the friend through whom you win esteem 
remain, I pray, yours unto the last moment of your 
life, and may he come to the control of the world 
with his own reins. This is at once my prayer and 
that of the people. 


In verse, Graecinus, that Naso who used to greet 
you face to face in spoken words, greets you sadly 
from the Euxine waters. An exile's voice is this ; 
letters furnish me a tongue, and if I may not write, I 
shall be dumb. 

5 You reprove as in duty bound the sins of your 
foolish friend, showing me that the evils that I suffer 
are less than my deserts. You are right, but too late 
is your reproof of my fault : relax the harshness of 
your words for an accused who has confessed. At 
the time when I could have passed Ceraunia with 
standing sails, so as to avoid the cruel reefs, then it 
was that I should have had your warning. Now 
after my shipwreck how does it profit me to learn 
what course my bark should have run ? Rather 
extend an arm to the weary swimmer's grasp ; repent 
not of supporting his chin with your hand. That you 
are doing and, I pray, will continue to do : so may 
your mother and wife, so may your brothers and all 
your house be free from harm, and as you are wont 
to pray with heart, with voice so for all your acts 
may you find the Caesars' approval. Base will it be if 



turpe erit in miseris veteri tibi rebus amico 
20 auxilium nulla parte tulisse tuum, 

turpe referre pedem, nee passu stare tenaci, 

turpe laborantem deseruisse ratem, 
turpe sequi casum et fortunae cedere 1 amicum, 

et, nisi sit felix, esse negare suuni. 
25 non ita vixerunt Strophio atque Agamemnone nati, 

non haec Aegidae Pirithoique fides : 
quos prior est mirata, sequens mirabitur aetas, 

in quorum plausus tota theatra sonant, 
tu quoque per durum servato tempus amico 
30 dignus es in tantis nomen habere viris. 
dignus es, et, quoniam laudem pietate mereris, 

non erit officii gratia surd a tui. 
crede mihi, nostrum si non mortale futurum est 

carmen, in ore frequens posteritatis eris. 
35 fac modo permaneas lasso, Graecine, fidelis, 

duret et in longas impetus iste moras. 
quae tu cum praestes, remo tamen utor in aura, 
ncc nocet admisso subdere calcar equo. 


Esse salutatum vult te mea littera primum 

a male pacatis, Attice, missa Getis. 
proxima subsequitur, quid agas, audire voluntas, 2 

et si, quidquid 3 agis, sit tibi cura mei. 
6 nee dubito quin sit, sed me timor ipse malorum 

saepe supervacuos cogit habere metus. 
da veniam, quaeso, nimioque ignosce timori. 

tranquillas etiam naufragus horret aquas. 

1 accedere, at cf. Tib. iv. 13. 17 a voluptas 

8 si quid vel iam si quid vet nunc quicquid 


EX PONTO, II. vi. 19 vii. 8 

you have aided in his misery an old friend in no way ; 
base to step back, not standing with steadfast foot ; 
base to abandon a ship in distress ; base to follow 
chance, to surrender a friend to fortune, and should 
he prosper not, to disclaim him as your own. Not such 
was the life of the sons l of Strophius and Aga- 
memnon ; not such was the loyalty of Aegeus' son 2 
and Pirithous. Them past ages have admired, and 
ages to come will admire ; to applaud them the whole 
theatre roars. You too who have held to your friend 
through times of stress deserve to have a name among 
such great men. You deserve it yes, and since 
praise is the just reward of your loyalty, my gratitude 
for your service shall never be dumb. Trust me, if 
my song is not destined to die, you shall be often on 
the lips of posterity. Only see that you remain 
faithful to your weary friend, Graecinus, and let your 
impulse endure for long. Though you do me this 
service, yet I use the oar while I have the breeze, nor 
is it harmful to spur on the galloping steed. 


My letter sent from the scarce pacified Getae 
wishes first to salute you, Atticus ; close follows the 
wish to hear how you fare and whether, no matter 
what your occupation, you have any interest in me. 
I doubt not you have, yet the very dread of mis- 
fortunes often forces me to feel empty fears. Grant 
me indulgence, I pray, pardon my excessive dread : 
the shipwrecked man shrinks even from calm waters. 

1 Pylades and Orestes. 2 Theseus. 



qui semel est laesus fallaci piscis ab hamo, 
10 omnibus unca cibis aera subesse putat. 
saepe canem longe visum fugit agna lupumque 

credit, et ipsa suam nescia vital opem. 
membra reformidant mollem quoque saucia tactum, 

vanaque sollicitis incutit 1 umbra metum. 
15 sic ego Fortunae telis confixus iniquis 
pectore concipio nil nisi triste meo. 
iam mihi fata liquet coeptos servantia cursus 

per sibi consuetas semper itura vias : 
observare deos, ne quid mihi cedat amice, 
20 verbaque Fortunae vix puto posse dari. 
est illi curae me perdere, quaeque solebat 
esse levis, constans et bene certa nocet. 
crede mihi, si sum veri tibi cognitus oris 

(nee planis 2 nostris casibus esse puter 3 ), 
25 Cinyphiae segetis citius numerabis aristas, 

altaque quam multis floreat Hybla thy mis, 
et quot aves motis nitantur in aere pinnis, 

quotque natent pisces aequore, cerius eris, 
quam tibi nostrorum statuatur summa laborum, 
30 quos ego sum terra, quos ego passus aqua, 
nulla Getis toto gens est truculentior orbe ; 

sed tamen hi nostris ingemuere malis. 
quae tibi si memori coner perscribere versu, 

Ilias est fati longa futura mei. 
35 non igitur vereor 4 quo 5 te rear esse verendum, 

cuius amor nobis pignora mille dedit, 
sed quia res timida est omnis miser, et quia longo 

tempore laetitiae ianua clausa meae. 

1 inmutat vel indtat vd concitat corr. ~ - plan us 

3 puter Ehwald] potcs vel potest vtl solet 
4 verear 6 quo] qua vel quia vel quod 


EX PONTO, II. vii. 9-38 

The fish once wounded by the treacherous hook 
fancies the barbed bronze concealed in every bit of 
food. Ofttimes the lamb flees the distant sight of a 
dog in the belief that it is a wolf, unwittingly avoiding 
its own protector. A wounded body shrinks from 
even a delicate touch ; an empty shadow inspires the 
anxious with fear. So I, pierced by the unjust shafts 
of Fortune, fashion in my breast naught but gloomy 
thoughts. Already it is clear to me that fate, 
keeping to the course begun, will continue always to 
run in a familiar path ; the gods are watching that no 
kind concession be made me and I think Fortune can 
scarcely be cheated. She is working to destroy me 
she who used to be fickle, is now steadfastly and with 
determination injuring me. O believe, if I have 
been known to you as a speaker of truth, (and though 
my misfortunes are clear I may not be thought 
so,) 1 you will more quickly count the ears of a crop 
by the Cinyphus, or the many blooms of thyme upon 
lofty Hybla, or count the number of birds floating in 
air on vibrant wings or the fishes swimming in the 
waters, than reckon the sum of woes I have borne 
on land, on sea. 

31 No race in the wide world is grimmer than the 
Getae, yet they have lamented over my misfortunes. 
Should I attempt to a full record of them in verse, 
there will be a long Iliad of my fate. I fear, there- 
fore, not that I think I need have fear of you of whose 
love I have received a thousand pledges, but because 
every unfortunate is a thing full of fear, because for a 
long time the door of joy has been closed for me. 

1 The text of 1. 24 is uncertain. The meaning seems to 
be that the poet's woes though real are incredible. 



iam dolor in morem venit meus, utque caducis 
40 percussu crebro saxa cavantur aquis, 
sic ego continuo Fortunae vulneror ictu, 

vixque habet in nobis iam nova plaga locum, 
nee magis assiduo vomer tenuatur ab usu, 

nee magis est curvis Appia trita rotis, 
45 pectora quam mea sunt serie calcata 1 malorum, 

et nihil inveni, quod mihi ferret opem. 
artibus ingenuis quaesita est gloria multis : 

infelix peril dotibus ipse meis. 
vita prior vitio caret et sine labe peracta est 2 : 
50 auxilii misero nil tulit ilia mihi. 

culpa gravis precibus donatur saepe suorum : 

omnis pro nobis gratia muta fuit. 
adiuvat in duris aliquos 3 praesentia rebus : 

obruit hoc absens vasta procella caput. 
55 quis 4 non horruerit tacitarn 5 quoque Caesaris iram ? 

addita sunt poenis aspera verba meis. 
fit fuga temporibus levior : proiectus in aequor 

Arcturum subii Pleiadumque minas. 
saepe solent hiemen placidam sentire carinae : 
60 non Ithacae puppi saevior unda fuit. 

recta fides comitum poterat mala nostra levare : 

ditata est spoliis perfida turba meis. 
mitius exilium faciunt loca : tristior ista 

terra sub ambobus non iacet ulla polls. 
65 est aliquid patriis vicirium finibus esse : 

ultima me tellus, ultimus orbis habet. 
praestat et exulibus pacem tua laurea, Caesar : 

Pontica finitimo terra sub hoste iacet. 

caecata 2 est om. A 3 aliqu 

4 quis lleinsiua] quae vd quern (que) obruerit (-et) 

6 taciti 


EX PONTO, II. vn. 39-68 

My grief has already become a habit ; as the falling 
drops by their constant force hollow the rock, so am I 
wounded by the steady blows of fate until now I have 
scarce space upon me for a new wound. The plough- 
share is not more thinned by constant use, the Appia l 
more worn by the curving wheels than my heart is 
worn by the hoof-beats of my continuous misfortunes ; 
nothing have I found to bring me aid. 

47 By liberal arts many have sought renown ; I, 
unhappy that I am, have been ruined by my own 
dower. My earlier life was free from fault, was lived 
without blemish, but it has brought me no succour in 
my misfortune. Serious fault is often pardoned to 
the prayers of one's friends ; on my behalf all favour 
has been mute. Some are helped in their difficulties 
by the fact that they are present ; I was absent 
when this mighty tempest overwhelmed me. Who 
would not dread even the unspoken wrath of Caesar ? 
My punishment was enhanced by harsh words. The 
season makes exile lighter ; I, driven forth upon 
the sea, endured Arcturus and the Pleiads' threats. 
Ships are often wont to experience a mild winter ; 
not the Ithacan ship 2 had a fiercer sea. The up- 
right loyalty of comrades could have alleviated my 
misfortunes, but a treacherous crowd grew rich on my 
spoils. Places render exile milder ; a more dismal 
land than this lies not under either pole. 'Tis some- 
thing to be near the confines of one's native land ; 
the remotest land, the remotest world possesses 
me. Thy laurel, Caesar, assures peace even to 
exiles ; the Pontic land lies exposed to a neighbouring 

1 The via Appia, the great highway from Rome to Capua. 
2 The ship of Ulysses. 

2 A 353 


tempus in agrorum cultu consumere dulce est : 
70 non patitur verti barbarus hostis humum. 
temperie caeli corpusque animusque iuvatur : 

frigore perpetuo Sarmatis ora riget. 
est in aqua dulci non invidiosa voluptas : 

aequoreo bibitur cum sale mixta palus. 
76 omnia deficiurit. animus tamen omnia vincit : 

ille etiam vires corpus habere facit. 
sustineas ut onus, nitendum vertice pleno est, 

aut, flecti nervos si patiere, cades, 
spes quoque posse mora mitescere principis iram, 
80 vivere ne nolim deficiamque, cavet. 
nee vos parva datis pauci solacia nobis, 

quorum spectata est per mala nostra fides, 
coepta tene, quaeso, neque in aequore desere navem, 

meque simul serva iudiciumque tuum. 


Redditus est nobis Caesar cum Caesare nuper, 

quos mini misisti, Maxime Cotta, deos ; 
utque tuum munus nurnerum, quern debet, haberet, 

est ibi Caesaribus Li via iuncta suis. 
5 argentum felix omnique beatius auro, 

quod, fuerit pretium cum rude, numen habet. 
non mihi divitias dando maiora dedisses, 

caeli tibus missis nostra sub ora tribus. 
est aliquid spectare deos et adesse putare, 
10 et quasi cum vero numine posse loqui. 

EX PONTO, II. vn. 69 vm. 10 

foe. 'Tis pleasant to spend one's time in tilling the 
fields ; the barbarian foe permits no sod to be turned. 
By a mild climate body and mind are helped ; eternal 
cold freezes the Sarmatian coast. There is in sweet 
water a pleasure that stirs no envy ; I drink marshy 
water mingled with the salt of the sea. I lack all 
things, but courage conquers all things ; it even 
causes the body to have strength. To support the 
burden you must struggle with head held stiff or 
else, if you allow your sinews to yield, you will fall. 
Even the hope that 'tis possible time may soften the 
prince's wrath, prevents me from aversion to life 
and utter breakdown. And you give me no small 
comfort the few whose fidelity has been tested by 
my misfortunes. Keep on as you have begun, I 
pray, do not abandon the ship upon the sea ; pre- 
serve me and with me your own conviction. 


I have recently received a Caesar in company of a 
Caesar l the gods whom you sent me, Cotta Maxi- 
mus ; and that your gift might be complete, Livia 
appeared there united with her Caesars. Happy 
silver ! more blessed than any gold ! For though but 
recently rough metal 'tis now divine ! Not by the 
gift of riches could you have given me a greater 
present than the three deities whom you have sent 
to my shores. 

9 'Tis something to behold gods and think them 
present, to have the power to speak as it were with a 

1 Perhaps a medallion with likenesses of the imperial 
three : Augustus, Tiberius, and Livia. 



quantum ad te, 1 redii, nee me tenet ultima tellus, 

utque prius, media sospes in urbe moror. 
Caesareos video vultus, velut ante videbarn : 

vix miius voti spes fuit ulla mihi ; 
15 utque salutabam numen caeleste, saluto. 

quod reduci tribuas, nil, puto, maius habes. 
quid nostris oculis nisi sola Palatia desunt ? 

qui locus ablato Caesare vilis erit. 
hunc ego cum spectem, videor mihi cernere Romam ; 
20 nam patriae faciem sustinet ille suae. 
fallor an irati rnihi sunt in imagine vultus, 

torvaque nescio quid forma minantis habet ? 
parce, vir inmenso maior virtutibus orbe, 

iustaque vindictae supprime lora tuae. 
25 parce, precor, 2 saecli decus indelebile 3 nostri, 

terrarum dominum quern tua cura facit. 
per patriae nomen, quae te tibi carior ipso est, 

per numquam surdos in tua vota deos, 
perque tori sociam, quae par tibi sola reperta est, 
30 et cui maiestas non onerosa tua est, 
perque tibi similem virtutis imagine natum, 

moribus adgnosci qui tuus esse potest, 
perque tuos, vel avo dignos, vel patre nepotes, 

qui veniunt magno per tua iussa gradu, 
35 parte leva minima nostras et contrahe poenas, 

daque, procul Scythico qui sit ab hoste, locum, 
et tua, si fas est, a Caesare proxime Caesar, 

numina sint precibus non inimica meis. 
sic fera quam primum pavido Germania vultu 
40 ante triumphantis serva feratur equos : 

1 quanta meridi (A] vel quanta (quantum vel quando) 
a te (ad me) redii, etc. corr. Ehwald 

2 precor] puer 

8 admirabile vel o venerabile 

EX PONTO, II. vin. 11-40 

real deity. So far as you could effect it, I have 
returned, I am no more in a remote land ; as of old I 
am safe in the midst of the city. I see the faces of 
the Caesars as I used before to see them ; of this 
prayer's fulfilment I have scarce had any hope. I 
salute the deity of heaven as I used to do : even 
should I return, no greater gift, I think, have you to 
bestow upon me. What do my eyes lack save only 
the Palatine ? And that place, if Caesar is removed, 
will be worthless. As I gaze on him I seem to look on 
Rome, for he embodies the likeness of our fatherland. 
Am I wrong or do the features of his portrait show 
anger against me ? Is his form somehow grim and 
threatening ? Spare me, thou who art mightier in 
thy virtues than the measureless world, check the 
reins of thy just vengeance. Spare me, thou im- 
perishable glory of our age, lord of the world because 
of thine own care. By the name of our country which 
is dearer to thee than thyself, by the gods who are 
never deaf to thy prayers, by thy consort l who alone 
has been found equal to thee, who feels not thy 
majesty a burden, by thy son 2 like thee a model of 
virtue whose character causes him to be recognized 
as thine, by thy grandsons 3 worthy of their grand- 
sire or their sire, who advance with mighty stride 
along the path of thy command, lighten in but the 
least degree and restrict my punishment : grant me 
an abode far from the Scythian enemy. 

37 And if 'tis right, O Caesar 2 nearest to Caesar, 
let not thy divinity be hostile to my prayers. So 
may wild Germany soon be borne with fear-stricken 
countenance a slave before thy triumphant steeds ; 

i Livia. * Tiberius. 

3 Germanicus (by adoption) and Drusus sons of Tiberius. 



sic pater in Pylios, Cumaeos mater in annos 

vivant, et possis filius esse dm. 
tu quoque, conveniens ingenti nupta marito, 

accipe non dura supplicis aure preces. 
45 sic tibi vir sospes, sic sint cum prole nepotes, 

cumque bonis nuribus quod peperere nurus. 
sic, quern dira tibi rapuit Germania Drusum, 

pars fuerit partus sola caduca tui. 
sic tibi mature fraterni funeris ultor 
50 purpureus niveis films instet equis. 

adnuite o ! timidis, mitissima numina, votis. 

praesentis aliquid prosit habere deos. 
Caesaris adventu tuta 1 gladiator harena 

exit, et auxilium non leve vultus habet. 
65 nos quoque vestra iuvat 2 quod, qua licet, ora videmus, 

intrata est superis quod domus una tribus. 
felices illi, qui non simulacra, sed ipsos, 

quique deum coram corpora vera vident. 
quod quoniam nobis invidit inutile fatum, 
60 quos dedit ars, vultus effigiemque colo. 
sic homines novere deos, quos arduus aether 

occulit, et colitur pro love forma lovis. 
denique, quae mecum est et erit sine fine, cavete, 

ne sit in inviso vestra figura loco. 
G5 nam caput e nostra citius cervice recedet, 

et patiar fossis lumen abire genis, 
quam caream raptis, o publica numina, vobis : 
vos eritis nostrae portus et ara fugae. 

1 tola ; tuto Owen 2 iuvet 

1 Nestor. "~~~ 


EX PONTO, II. vm. 41-68 

so may thy father attain the years of the Pylian l and 
thy mother those of the Cumaean 2 and mayst thou 
be for long a son. Thou, too, spouse suited to a 
mighty husband, listen with no cruel ear to the 
prayers of a suppliant. So may thy husband be 
safe, so thy grandsons and their offspring, so thy good 
sons' wives and their children. So may that Drusus, 3 
whom cruel Germany tore away from thee, be the 
only one of thy descendants to fall. So in the near 
future may the avenger of his brother's death drive, 
in purple clad, the snow-white steeds. Assent to my 
timorous prayers, ye kind deities ! Let it profit 
me somewhat to have gods present before me. At 
Caesar's coming the gladiator leaves the arena in 
safety, for his countenance brings no slight aid. I 
too am helped because, so far as I am allowed, I gaze 
upon the features of you all, because three of the 
celestials have entered one home. Happy they who 
see not likenesses, but the reality, the real persons 
of the gods face to face. This has been begrudged 
me by hostile fate, and so I cherish the countenances 
and figures which art has produced. Thus it is that 
men know the gods whom the lofty aether conceals ; 
they worship in Jupiter's stead the likeness of Jupiter. 
In fine make it your care that these your likenesses, 
which are with me and shall ever be with me, be not in 
a hateful place. For my head shall sooner leave my 
neck, sooner will I gouge out my eyes from my 
cheeks, than be deprived, O deities of the state, of 
you. You shall be the harbour, the altar of my exile. 

* The Cumaean Sibyl who was 700 years old when she 
prophesied to Aeneas. 

8 The father of Germanicus. He was killed in Germany 
by a fall from his horse. 



vos ego complectar, Geticis si cingar ab armis, 
70 utque meas aquilas, ut mea l signa sequar. 
aut ego me fallo nimiaque cupidine ludor, 

aut spes exilii commodioris adest. 
nam minus et minus est facies in imagine tristis, 

visaque sunt dictis adnuere ora meis. 
75 vera precor fiant timidae praesagia mentis, 
iustaque quamvis est, sit minor ira dei. 


Regia progenies, cui nobilitatis origo 

nomen in Eumolpi pervenit usque, Coty, 
fama loquax vestras si iam pervenit ad auris, 

me tibi finitimi parte iacere soli, 
6 supplicis exaudi, iuvenum mitissime, vocem, 

quamque potes, profugo (nam potes) adfer opem. 
me fortuna tibi de qua quod non queror, 2 hoc est 

tradidit, hoc uno non inimica mihi. 
excipe naufragium non duro litore nostrum, 
10 ne fuerit terra tutior unda tua. 

regia, crede mihi, res est succurrere lapsis, 

convenit et tanto, quantus es ipse, viro. 
fortunam decet hoc istam : quae maxima cum sit, 

esse potest ammo vix tamen aequa tuo. 
15 conspicitur numquam meliore potentia causa, 

quam quotiens vanas non sinit esse preces. 
hoc nitor iste tui generis desiderat, hoc est 

a superis ortae nobilitatis opus, 
hoc tibi et Eumolpus, generis clarissimus auctor, 3 
20 et prior Eumolpo suadet Erichthonius. 

1 ut mea] tutaque vel vos mea vel signa ego vestra, etc. 
corr. Korn 8 querar 


EX PONTO, II. vin. 69 ix. 20 

You will I embrace when I am circled about by Getic 
arms ; you will I follow as my eagles, as my standards. 
71 Either I am self-deceived or mocked by excessive 
longing, or else the hope of a more comfortable exile 
is at hand. For less and less stern are the features 
of the portrait the lips seem to consent at my words. 
I pray that the premonitions of my fearful heart may 
become the truth, that although the god's wrath is 
just, it may grow less. 


Cotys, scion of kings, whose noble line extends 
even to the name of Eumolpus, if talkative report has 
already come to your ears that I am lying in a neigh- 
bouring land, hear the voice of a suppliant, gentle 
youth, and bear what aid thou canst and thou hast 
the power to an exile. Fortune of whom in this 
one thing I complain not has given me over to thee ; 
in this alone she is not hostile to me. Harbour my 
shipwreck on no cruel shore", let not the waters prove 
safer than thy land. 'Tis a royal deed, I assure thee, 
to help the fallen, it befits a man as mighty as thou 
art. This becomes thy position which, great though 
it is, can scarce be equal to thy spirit. Power is 
never seen in a better cause than when it does not 
permit prayers to be vain. This that brilliant birth 
of thine desires, this is the task of a nobility sprung 
from those above. This Eumolpus, the illustrious 
founder of thy race, and before Eumolpus Erich- 

* generis . . auctor] opus hoc tibi suadet erato 


hoc tecum commune deo est, 1 quod uterque rogati 

supplicibus vestris ferre soletis opem. 
rmmquid 2 erit, quare solito dignemur honore 

numina, si demas velle iuvare deos ? 
25 luppiter oranti surdas si praebeat auris, 

victima pro templo cur cadat icta lovis ? 
si pacem nullam pontus mihi praestet eunti, 

irrita Neptuno cur ego tura feram ? 
vana laborantis si fallat vota coloni, 
30 accipiat gravidae cur suis exta Ceres ? 

nee dabit intonso iugulum caper hostia Baccho, 

musta sub adducto si pede nulla fluent. 
Caesar ut imperil moderetur frena precamur, 

tarn bene quod patriae consulit ille suae. 
35 utib'tas igitur magnos hominesque deosque 

efficit, auxiliis quoque favente suis. 
tu quoque fac prosis intra 3 tua castra iacenti, 

o Coty, progenies digna parente tuo. 
conveniens homini est hominem servare voluptas, 
40 et melius nulla quaeritur arte favor. 

quis non Antiphaten Laestrygona devovet ? aut quis 

munifici mores improbat Alcinoi ? 
non tibi Cassandreus pater est gentisve Pheraeae, 4 

quive repertorem torruit arte sua : 
45 sed quam Marte ferox et vinci nescius armis, 

tam numquam, facta pace, cruoris amans. 
adde quod ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes 

emollit mores nee sinit esse feros. 
nee regum quisquam magis est instructus ab illis, 
50 mitibus aut studiis tempora plura dedit. 

1 deos (dels vel del) : deo est Riese 
8 namquid 8 profugus intra 

4 genitorve (gentisque) caphereus (caphareus) 

EX PONTO, II. ix. 21-50 

thonius, enjoin. This thou hast in common with a 
god : that ye are both wont to aid your petitioners. 
Will there be any reason for us to grant their usual 
honour to the gods, if one robs them of their will to 
help ? If Jupiter should turn deaf ears to prayer, 
why should a victim fall in sacrifice before Jupiter's 
temple ? If the sea should offer no calm for my 
journey, why should I offer vain incense to Neptune ? 
Should she cheat the ineffectual prayers of the toiling 
husbandman, why should Ceres receive the entrails 
of a gravid sow ? The goat will not offer his throat in 
sacrifice to unshorn Bacchus, if no must flows from 
beneath the tread of feet. We pray that Caesar may 
guide the reins of the empire because he plans so 
wisely for his fatherland ! 

35 Utility, then, renders great both men and gods, if 
each bestows in favour his own peculiar aid. Do thou 
also avail him who lies within thy camp, Cotys, son 
worthy of thy father. 'Tis a fitting pleasure for man 
to save man ; there is no better way of seeking 
favour. Who does not curse Antiphates the Lae- 
strygonian ? Who disapproves the character of 
generous Alcinous ? Thou hast for a father no Cas- 
sandrean 1 or man of Pheraean race, 2 or him 3 who 
burned the inventor by his own craft, but one who 
though fierce in war and unacquainted with defeat in 
arms, was yet never fond of blood when peace was 
made. Note too that a faithful study of the liberal 
arts humanizes character and permits it not to be 
cruel. No king has been better trained by them or 
given more time to humane studies. Thy verse 

1 Apollodorus of Cassandrea, a cruel tyrant. 
2 i.e. descended from Alexander, tyrant of Pherae. 
8 Phalaris, see Tr. Hi. 11. 39 ff. 



carmina testantur, quae, si tua nomina demas, 

Threicium iuvenem composuisse negem ; 
neve sub hoc tractu vates foret unicus Orpheus, 

Bistonis ingenio terra superba tuo est. 
65 utque tibi est animus, cum res ita postulat, arma 

sumere et hostili tingere caede manum, 
atque ut es excusso iaculum torquere lacerto 

collaque velocis flectere doctus equi, 
tempora sic data sunt studiis ubi iusta paternis, 
60 atque suis numeris l forte quievit opus, 
ne tua marcescant per inertis otia somnos, 

lucida Pieria tendis in astra via. 
haec quoque res aliquid tecum mihi foederis affert : 

eiusdem sacri cultor uterque sumus. 
65 ad vatem vates orantia brachia tendo, 

terra sit exiliis ut tua fida meis. 
non ego caede nocens in Ponti litora veni, 

mixtave sunt nostra dira venena manu : 
nee mea subiecta convicta est gemma tabella 
70 mendacem linis imposuisse notam. 

nee quicquam, quod lege vetor committere, feci : 

est tamen his gravior noxa fatenda mihi. 
neve roges, quae sit, stultam conscripsimus 2 Artem ; 

innocuas nobis haec vetat esse manus. 
75 ecquid praeterea peccarim, quaerere noli, 

ut lateat 3 sola culpa sub Arte mea. 
quicquid id est, habuit moderatam vindicis iram, 

qui nisi natalem nil mihi dempsit humum. 
hac quoniam careo, tua nunc vicinia praestet, 
80 inviso possim tutus ut esse loco. 

1 humeris corr. Heinsius 2 quae (quam) scripsimus 

8 pateat corr. <s 


EX PONTO, II. ix. 51-80 

bears witness ; shouldst thou remove thy name, I 
should deny that a Thracian youth was the com- 
poser ; and that beneath this sky Orpheus might not 
be the only bard, by thy talent is the Bistonian land 
made proud. As thou hast the courage, when need 
arises, to take arms and stain thy hand with enemy's 
blood, and as thou hast been trained to hurl the 
javelin with a sweep of thine arm, or to guide the 
neck of the swift horse, so when just time has been 
given to thy sire's pursuits and the task testing 
thy might in all its parts has come to rest, that thy 
leisure may not waste away in idle sleep, thou dost 
press on the Pierian path towards the bright stars. 

63 This also brings me a certain union with thee : 
each is a worshipper at the same shrine. As bard to 
bard I extend my arms in prayer that thy land may 
be loyal to me in exile. I was not guilty of murder 
when I came to Pontus' shores, no baneful poison 
was mixed by my hand ; my seal was not convicted 
by a fraudulent tablet of having imprinted on the 
linen 1 a lying mark. I have done naught that the 
law forbids. Yet must I confess a weightier sin. 
Ask not what it is. But I have composed a foolish 
" Art " ; 'tis this prevents my hands from being 
clean. Have I sinned further ? Do not inquire 
that my wrongdoing may hide beneath my " Art " 
alone. Whatever it is, the avenger's wrath was 
moderate. He took from me nothing but my native 
land. Since I am deprived of that, let now thy near- 
ness warrant that I can be secure in a place I hate. 

1 i.e. the threads with which documents were tied together. 




Ecquid ab impressae cognoscis imagine cerae 
haec tibi Nasonem scribere verba, Macer ? 
auctorisque sui si non est anulus index, 

cognitane est nostra littera facta manu ? 
6 an tibi notitiam mora temporis eripit horum, 

nee repetunt oculi signa vetusta tui ? 
sis licet oblitus pariter gemmaeque manusque, 

exciderit tantum ne tibi cura mei. 
quam tu vel longi debes convictibus aevi, 
10 vel mea quod coniunx non aliena tibi est, 1 
vel studiis, quibus es, quam nos, sapientius usus, 

utque decet, nulla factus es Arte nocens. 
tu canis aeterno quicquid restabat Homero, 

ne careant summa Troica bella manu. 
16 Naso parum prudens, artem dum tradit amandi, 

doctrinae pretium triste magister habet. 
sunt tamen inter se communia sacra poetis, 

diversum quamvis quisque sequamur 2 iter : 
quorum te memorem, quamquam procul absumus, 

20 suspicor, et casus velle levare meos. 

te duce magnificas Asiae perspeximus urbes : 

Trinacris est oculis te duce visa 3 meis. 
vidimus Aetnaea caelum splendescere flamma, 

subpositus monti quam vomit ore Gigans, 
25 Hennaeosque lacus et olentis 4 stagna Palici, 
quaque suis Cyanen miscet Anapus aquis. 
nee procul hinc nymphe, quae, dum fugit Elidis 

tecta sub aequorea nunc quoque currit aqua. 

1 est om. 8 queramur vel sequahir 

8 nota 4 olcntia corr. Zinzerling 


EX PONTO, II. x. 1-28 


Does any inkling come to you, Macer, from the 
figure pressed upon the wax that Naso writes these 
words to you ? If the ring be not an informant of its 
master, do you recognize the letters formed by my 
hand ? Or is recognition of these things stolen from 
you by length of time, and do your eyes not recall the 
symbols of long ago ? You may forget alike seal and 
hand if only interest in me has not dropped from your 
mind. This you owe to the association of long years, 
to my wife's kinship with you, or to the poetic studios 
which you have employed more wisely than I ; and 
(as 'tis fitting), no %< Art " has made you guilty. You 
sing whatever immortal Homer left unsung, that the 
wars of Troy may not lack the final hand. 1 Naso 
thoughtlessly imparts the art of love and the teacher 
has the harsh reward of his teaching. There are, 
nevertheless, rites common to all poets though we 
may each go our own separate way which I believe 
in my heart that you remember, even though we are 
far apart, and wish to lighten my misfortunes. Under 
your guidance I beheld the splendid cities of Asia, 
under your guidance I saw the Trinacrian 2 land : 
you and I saw the sky agleam with Aetna's flame 
vomited forth by the giant 3 lying beneath the 
mountain, the lakes of Henna, the pools of sulphurous 
Palicus, and the spot where Anapus joins Cyane to 
his own waters. Hard by is the nymph 4 who fleeing 
the Elean stream runs even now covered beneath the 

1 i.e. the touch that completes and perfects a work of art. 
8 Sicilian. 8 Typhon. 4 Arethusa. 



hie mihi labentis pars anni magna peracta est. 
30 eheu, quam dispar est locus ille Getis ! 

et quota pars haec sunt rerum, quas vidimus ambo 

te mihi iucundas efficiente vias ! 
seu rate caeruleas picta sulcavimus undas, 

esseda nos agili sive tulere rota, 
35 saepe brevis nobis vicibus via visa loquendi, 
pluraque, si numeres, verba fuere gradu, 
saepe dies sermone minor fuit, inque loquendum 

tarda per aestivos defuit hora dies, 
est aliquid casus pariter timuisse marinos, 
40 iunctaque ad aequoreos vota tulisse deos. 
et modo res egisse simul, modo rursus ab illis, 

quorum non pudeat, posse referre iocos. 
haec tibi cum subeant, absim licet, 1 omnibus annis 

ante tuos oculos, ut rnodo visus, ero. 
46 ipse quidem certe cum sim sub cardine mundi, 

qui semper liquidis altior extat aquis, 
te tamen intueor quo solo pectore possum, 

et tecum gelido saepe sub axe loquor. 
hie es, et ignoras, et ades celeberrimus absens, 
60 inque Getas media iussus ab urbe venis. 
redde vicem, et, quoniam regio felicior ista est, 
istic me memori pectore semper habe. 


Hoc tibi, Rufe, brevi properatum tempore mittit 
Naso, parum faustae conditor Artis, opus, 

ut, quamquam longe toto sumus orbe remoti, 
scire tamen possis nos meminisse tui. 
1 ipsum licet vel hie sim licet 

1 The pole is often compared to a car do (the pivot on which 
a door turns) or an axle. 

EX PONTO, II. x. 29 xi. 4 

waters of the sea. Here it was that I passed the 
greater part of a quickly gliding year alas ! how 
unlike that land to this of the Getae ! and how small 
a part are these of the things that we saw together 
while you made every road pleasant for me ! 
Whether we furrowed the blue waves in a gaily 
painted boat or drove in a swift- wheeled carriage, 
often the way seemed short through our interchange 
of talk, and our words, could you count them, out- 
numbered our steps ; often the day was not long 
enough for our talk even the long hours of summer 
did not suffice. 'Tis something to have feared 
together the perils of the sea, together to have paid 
our vows to the water gods, to have done deeds 
in common and again after those deeds to be free 
to utter jests which bring no shame. When these 
thoughts steal upon you, absent though I be, I shall 
be before your eyes as if you had just seen me. And 
as for me, though I dwell beneath the pivot of the 
heavens which is ever high above the clear waters 
yet I behold you in my heart my only way and 
often talk with you beneath the icy axle. 1 You are 
here and know it not, you are full often by my side 
though far away, and you come at my bidding- from 
the midst of the city to the land of the Getae. Make 
me recompense, and since yours is the happier land, 
there keep me ever in a remembering heart. 


This work, Rufus, hastily composed in a brief space, 

Naso sends to you Naso, the author of the ill-starred 

" Art " that despite our separation by the whole 

world's width you may know that I remember you. 

2B 369 


6 nominis ante mei venient oblivia nobis, 

pectore quam pietas sit tua pulsa meo : 
et prius hanc animam vacuas reddemus in auras, 

quam fiat meriti gratia vana tui. 
grande voco lacrimas meritum, quibus ora rigabas 
10 cum mea concrete sicca dolore forent : 
grande voco meritum maestae solacia mentis, 

cum pariter nobis ilia tibique dares, 
sponte quidem per seque mea est laudabilis uxor, 

admonitu melior fit tamen ilia tuo. 
15 namque quod Hermionae Castor fuit, Hector luli, 

hoc ego te laetor coniugis esse meae. 
quae ne dissimilis tibi sit probitate laborat, 

seque tui vita sanguinis esse probat. 
ergo quod fuerat stimulis factura sine ullis, 
20 plenius auctorem te quoque nancta facit. 
acer et ad palmae per se cursurus honores, 

si tamen horteris, fortius ibit equus. 
adde quod absentis cura mandata fideli 
perficis, et nullum ferre gravaris onus. 
25 o, referant grates, quoniam non possumus ipsi, 

di tibi ! qui referent, si pia facta vident ; 
sufficiatque diu corpus quoque moribus istis, 
maxima Fundani gloria, Rufe, soli. 


EX PONTO, II. xi. 5-28 

Sooner shall I forget my own name than allow your 
loyalty to be driven from my mind ; sooner shall I 
give back this life to the empty air than gratitude for 
your service become as naught. A great service I 
call the tears which streamed over your face when my 
own was dry with chilling grief. A great service I 
call the consolation of my sorrow when you bestowed 
it at once upon me and upon yourself. By her own 
will and of herself my wife deserves all praise, yet 
she is the better because of your admonitions : for 
what Castor was to Hermione, Hector to lulus, 1 this 
you are, I rejoice to say, to my wife. She strives to 
be not unlike you in probity, she proves herself by 
her life to be of your blood, and so that which she 
would have done with no urging, she does more fully 
because you are her sponsor. The mettlesome steed 
who will of his own accord race for the honour of 
the palm will nevertheless, if you urge him, run 
with greater spirit. And besides you perform with 
faithful care the directions of one who is absent ; 
there is no burden that you object to carrying. O 
may the gods recompense you, since I have not the 
power ; and they will recompense if they but see 
deeds of loyalty. May you long have health to 
uphold your character, Rufus, chief glory of Fundi's 
land ! 

1 i.e. uncle. Creusa, mother of lulus (Ascanius), was 
Hector's sister. 



Aequor lasonio pulsatum remige primum, 

quaeque nee hoste fero nee nive, terra, cares, 
ecquod erit tempus quo vos ego Naso relinquam 

in minus hostili iussus abesse loco ? 
5 an mihi barbaria vivendum semper in ista, 

inque Tomitana condar oportet humo ? 
pace tua, si pax ulla est tua, Pontica tellus, 

finitimus rapido quam terit hostis equo, 
pace tua dixisse velim, tu pessima duro 
10 pars es in exilio, tu mala nostra gravas. 
tu neque ver sentis cinctum florente corona, 

tu neque messorum corpora nuda vides. 
nee tibi pampineas autumnus porrigit uvas : 

cuncta sed inmodicum tempora frig us babet. 1 
15 tu glacie freta vincta tenes, 2 et in aequore piscis 

inclusus tecta saepe natavit aqua, 
nee tibi sunt fontes, laticis nisi paene marini, 

qui potus dubium sistat alatne sitim. 
rara, neque haec felix, in aperlis eminet arvis 
20 arbor, et in terra est altera forma maris. 

1 habent : habet r 8 vides 



sea first lashed by Jason's oars, O land never 
free from cruel enemies and snows, will a time ever 
come when I, Naso, shall leave you, bidden to an 
exile in a place less hostile ? Or must I ever live in 
such a barbaric land, am I destined to be laid in my 
grave in the soil of Tomis ? With peace from thee l 
if any peace thou hast O land of Pontus, ever 
trodden by the swift horses of a neighbouring foe, 
with peace from thee would I say : thou art the 
worst element in my hard exile, thou dost increase 
the weight of my misfortunes. Thou neither feelest 
spring girt with wreaths of flowers nor beholdest 
the reaper's naked bodies ; to thee autumn extends 
no clusters of grapes ; but all seasons are in the 
grip of excessive cold. Thou holdest the flood 
ice-bound, and in the sea the fishes often swim 
in water enclosed beneath a roof. Thou hast no 
springs except those almost of sea water ; quaff them, 
and doubt whether thirst is allayed or increased. 
Seldom is there a tree and that unproductive 
rising in the open fields, and the land is but the sea 

1 A bitter pun on the literal meaning of pax and its 
meaning in the phrase tua pace, " by thy leave. 



non avis obloquitur, silvis nisi siqua remota 1 

aequoreas rauco gutture potat aquas, 
tristia per vacuos horrent absinthia campos, 

conveniensque suo rnessis amara loco. 
25 adde metus, et quod murus pulsatur ab hoste, 

tinctaque mortifera tabe sagitta madet, 
quod procul haec regio est et ab omni devia cursu, 

nee pede quo quisquam nee rate tutus eat. 
non igitur mirum, finem quaerentibus horum 
30 altera si nobis usque rogatur humus. 

te magis est mirum non hoc evincere, coniunx, 

inque meis lacrimas posse tenere mails, 
quid facias, quaeris ? quaeras hoc scilicet ipsum, 

invenies, vere si reperire voles. 
35 velle parum est : cupias, ut re potiaris, oportet, 

et faciat somnos haec tibi cura breves, 
velle reor multos : quis enim mini tarn sit iniquus, 

optet ut exilium pace carere meum ? 
pectore te toto cunctisque incumbere nervis 
40 et niti pro me nocte dieque decet. 

utque iuvent alii, tu debes vincere amicos, 

uxor, et ad partis prima venire tuas. 
magna tibi imposita est nostris persona libellis : 

coniugis exemplum diceris esse bonae. 
45 hanc cave degeneres. ut sint praeconia nostra 

vera, vide famae quod tuearis opus, 
ut nihil ipse querar, tacito me fama queretur, 

quae debet, fuerit ni tibi cura mei. 
exposuit memet populo Fortuna videndum, 
60 et plus notitiae, quam fuit ante, dedit. 

1 nisi silvis siqua remotis corr. Ehwald 

EX PONTO, III. i. 21-50 

in another guise. No note is there of any bird save 
such as remote in the forests drink the brackish 
water with raucous throat. Bitter wormwood bristles 
throughout the empty plains, a crop suited in harsh- 
ness to its site. Add fears too the wall assailed by 
the enemy, the darts soaked in death-dealing cor- 
ruption, the distance of this spot from all traffic, to 
which none can penetrate in safety either on foot or 
by boat. 

29 No wonder then if I seek an end of this and beg 
constantly for another land. Tis a greater wonder 
that thou, my wife, dost not prevail in this, that 
thou canst restrain thy tears at my misfortunes. 
What art thou to do, thou askest ? Ask thyself this 
very question ; thou wilt discover, if thou hast true 
will to find it out. To wish is not enough ; thou 
shouldst have a passion to win thy end, and this care 
should make thy slumber brief. Many, I think, wish 
it ; for who can be so hard upon me as to desire my 
place of exile to be severed from peace ? With thy 
w r hole heart, with every sinew thou shouldst work and 
strive for me night and day. And to have others aid 
me thou shouldst win our friends, my wife, and come 
foremost thyself to support thy part. 

43 Great is the role imposed upon thee in my books : 
thou art called the model of a good wife. Beware 
thou fallest not from that : that I may have pro- 
claimed the truth, look to the work that fame has 
wrought and guard it well. Though I myself make 
no complaint, whilst I am dumb fame will complain, 
as she ought, shouldst thou not have regard for me. 
Fortune has set me forth to be viewed of all the people, 
she has given me more celebrity than I had of yore. 



notior est factus Oapaneus a fulminis ictu : 

notus humo mersis Amphiaraus equis. 
si minus errasset, notus minus esset Ulixes : 

magna Philoctetae vulnere fama suo est. 
55 si locus est aliquis tanta inter nomina parvis, 

nos quoque conspicuos nostra ruina facit. 
nee te nesciri patitur mea pagina, qua non 

inferius Coa Bittide l nomen habes. 
quicquid ages igitur, scaena spectabere magna, 
60 et pia non paucis 2 testibus uxor eris. 
crede mihi, quotiens laudaris carmine nostro, 

qui legit has laudes, an mereare rogat. 
utque favere reor plures virtutibus istis, 

sic tua non paucae carpere facta volent. 
65 quarum tu praesta ne livor dicere possit 

" haec est pro miseri lenta salute viri." 
cumque ego denciam, nee possim ducere currum, 

fac tu sustineas debile sola hi gum. 
ad medicum specto venis fugientibus aeger : 
70 ultima pars animae dum mihi res tat, ades ; 
quodque ego praestarem, si te magis ipse valerem, 

id mihi, cum valeas fortius ipsa, refer, 
exigit hoc socialis amor foedusque maritum : 

moribus hoc, coniunx, exigis ipsa tuis. 
75 hoc domui debes, de qua censeris, ut illam 

non magis officiis quam probitate colas, 
cuncta licet facias, nisi eris laudabilis uxor, 

non poterit credi Marcia culta tibi. 

1 bit tibi de etc. corr. Merkel 2 parvis 

1 The house of the Fabii. 
2 The wife of Fabius Maximus, cf. Ex P. i. 2. 139. 


EX PONTO, III. i. 51-78 

Capaneus was made more famous by the lightning's 
shock ; Amphiaraus achieved fame when his steeds 
were swallowed up in the earth. If Ulysses had 
wandered less, he would have been less famous ; 
Philoctetes' great name is due to his wound. If 
there is some place among such mighty names for 
the humble, I too am become a man of mark by 
reason of my fall. 

57 And thou art not permitted by my pages to be 
unknown ; thou hast a name not inferior to that of 
Coan Bittis. Whatever therefore thou shalt do, 
thou shalt be viewed upon a mighty stage, thou shalt 
be to many witnesses a loyal wife. I assure thee, as 
often as thou art praised in my verse, he who reads 
the praise asks whether thou dost deserve it. And 
just as many, I think, approve such virtues, so women 
not a few will seek shortcomings in thy deeds. 'Tis 
for thee to make sure their jealousy can never say, 
" This is she who is indifferent to her wretched 
husband's safety ! " 

67 Since I am failing, no longer able to draw the car, 
see that thou dost alone support the weakening yoke. 
I am a sick man, gazing with failing pulse upon the 
doctor ; while the last of life remains to me, stand by 
to help ; and what I would myself supply, were I 
stronger than thou, that grant to me since thou art 
thyself the stronger. This is demanded by our 
united love and marriage compact ; this, my wife, 
thou dost demand by virtue of thine own character. 
This thou dost owe to the house l by which thou hast 
thy esteem, that thou mayst cherish it not more in 
duty than in uprightness. Thou mayst do all things, 
but unless thou shalt be a praiseworthy wife, it will 
not be believed that thou hast honoured Marcia. 2 



nee sumus indigni : nee, si vis vera fateri, 
80 debetur meritis gratia nulla meis. 

redditur ilia quidem grandi cum faenore nobis, 

nee te, si cupiat, laedere rumor habet. 
sed tamen hoc factis adiunge prioribus unum, 

pro nostris ut sis ambitiosa malis. 
85 ut minus infesta iaceam regione labora, 

clauda nee officii pars erit ulla tui. 
magna peto, sed non tamen invidiosa roganti : 

utque ea non teneas, tuta repulsa tua est. 
nee mini suscense, 1 totiens, si carmine nostro, 
90 quod facis, ut facias, teque imitere, rogo. 
fortibus adsuevit tubicen prodesse, suoque 

dux bene pugnantis incitat ore viros. 
nota tua est probitas testataque tempus in omne ; 

sit virtus etiam non probitate minor. 
95 non tibi Amazonia est pro me sumenda securis, 

aut excisa levi pelta gerenda manu. 
numen adorandum est, non ut mihi fiat amicum, 

sed sit ut iratum, quam fuit ante, minus, 
gratia si nulla est, lacrimae tibi gratia fient. 
100 hac potes aut nulla parte movere deos. 

quae tibi ne desint, bene per mala nostra cavetur : 

meque viro flendi copia dives adest ; 
utque meae res sunt, omni, puto, tempore flebis, 

has fortuna tibi nostra ministrat 2 opes. 
105 si mea mors redimenda tua, quod abominor, esset, 

Admeti coniunx, quam sequereris, erat. 
aemula Penelopes fieres, si fraude pudica 
instantis velles fallere nupta procos. 

1 succense 2 ministret 

1 The shield was shaped somewhat like a crescent, one 
side being indented. 

a Aicestis. 

EX PONTO, III. i. 79-108 

79 Nor am I unworthy, and if thou art willing to 
confess the truth, some return is owed to my services. 
That return thou dost indeed make to me with usury, 
nor could rumour, even if she should wish, injure thee. 
But none the less add this one thing to thy previous 
deeds : be the canvasser for my misfortunes. Toil 
that I may rest in a less hostile region and no part of 
thy duty will halt. Great is my request, yet not one 
that brings odium on the petitioner ; shouldst thou 
not attain it, thy defeat involves no danger. And be 
not wroth with me if so many times in my song I ask 
thee to do what thou art already doing and to 
imitate thyself. The brave have often been helped 
by the trumpeter, and the general urges on with his 
own lips men who are fighting well. Thy probity is 
known and witnessed for all time ; let thy courage 
too be not inferior to thy probity. Thou hast not to 
take up in my behalf the Amazon's battle-axe nor 
bear with thy frail hand the indented l target. Thou 
has to implore a deity, not to become friendly to me, 
but less angry than heretofore. If grace thou findest 
not, tears shall win thee grace ; by this or by no 
means canst thou move the gods. That they will 
not fail thee is well assured by my misfortunes ; 
with me as husband of tears thou hast rich store ; 
and as things are with me thou wilt weep, I think, at 
all times these are the means that my fortune 
renders to thee. If thou hadst to redeem my death 
at the price of thine own away with the thought ! 
Admetus' wife 2 would be a model to follow. Thou 
wouldst become a rival of Penelope if by chaste 
deceit thou, a bride, shouldst wish to beguile insistent 



si comes extinct! Manes sequerere mariti, 
110 esset dux facti Laodamia tui. 

Ipbias ante oculos tibi erat ponenda volenti 

corpus in accensos mittere forte rogos. 
morte nihil opus est, nihil Icariotide tela. 

Caesaris est coniunx ore precanda tuo, 
115 quae praestat virtute sua, ne prisca vetustas 

laude pudicitiae saecula nostra premat : 
quae Veneris formam, mores lunonis habendo 

sola est caelesti digna reperta toro. 
quid trepidas et adire times ? non impia Procne 
120 filiave Aeetae voce movenda tua est, 

nee nurus Aegypti, nee saeva Agamemnonis uxor, 

Scyllaque, quae Siculas inguine terret aquas, 
Telegonive par ens vertendis nata figuris, 

nexaque nodosas angue Medusa comas, 
125 femina sed princeps, in qua Fortuna videre 

se probat et caecae crimina falsa tulit : 
qua nihil in terris ad finem solis ab ortu 

clarius excepto Caesare mundus habet. 
eligito tempus captatum saepe rogandi, 
130 exeat adversa ne tua navis aqua. 

non semper sacras reddunt oracula sortis, 

ipsaque non omni tempore fana patent, 
cum status urbis erit, qualem nunc auguror esse, 

et nullus populi contrahet ora dolor, 
135 cum domus Augusti, Capitoli more colenda, 

laeta, quod est et sit, plenaque pacis erit, 
turn tibi di faciant adeundi copia fiat, 

profectura aliquid turn tua verba putes. 

1 Penelope, daughter of Icarius. 2 Medea. 

8 A Danaid, i.e. one who slew her husband. 
4 Clytaemestra. 6 Circe. 


EX PONTO, III. i. 109-138 

suitors. If thou shouldst follow thy dead husband to 
the shades Laodamia would guide thee in thy deed. 
Iphias would have to be kept before thine eyes, 
shouldst thou wish to hurl thyself bravely upon the 
kindled pyre. But thou hast no need of death, no 
need of the Icarian woman's l web ; thy lips must 
pray to Caesar's spouse, who by her virtue gives 
surety that the olden time conquers not our age in 
praise of chastity ; who, with the beauty of Venus, the 
character of Juno, has been found alone worthy to 
share the divine couch. Why dost tremble and fear 
to approach her ? No impious Procne nor daughter 2 
of Aeetes must needs be touched by thy words, nor 
daughter-in-law 8 of Aegyptus, nor cruel wife 4 of 
Agamemnon, nor Scylla, terrifying with her loins the 
waters of Sicily, nor mother 5 of Telegonus, born 
with the power to transform human shape, nor 
Medusa, with locks bound and snarled with serpents, 
but the foremost of women, who proves that Fortune 
has the power of sight and has falsely borne the 
charge of blindness ; than whom the universe holds 
nothing more illustrious from the sun's rising to his 
setting, save only Caesar. Choose well the time, 
already oft essayed, to make thy petition, lest thy 
bark put forth into an adverse sea. Not always do 
oracles give forth their holy prophecies, not at all 
times are even the shrines open. When the condi- 
tion of the city shall be such as I divine it now to be, 
and no sorrow brings a frown upon the people's brow, 
when Augustus's house, to be revered as it were the 
Capitol, shall be happy as now, I pray, and ever 
and filled with peace, then may the gods grant thee 
an opportunity to approach, then thou mayst believe 
that thy words will be of some avail. If she is busy 



siquid aget maius, differ tua coepta caveque 
140 spem festinando praecipitare meam. 

nee rursus iubeo dum sit vacuissima quaeras : 
corporis ad curam vix vacat ilia sui. 


per rerum turbam tu quoque oportet eas. 
145 cum tibi contigerit vultum lunonis adire, 
fac sis personae, quam tueare, memor. 
nee factum defende meum : mala causa silenda est. 

nil nisi sollicitae sint tua verba preces. 
turn lacrimis demenda mora est, summissaque terra l 
150 ad non mortalis brachia tende pedes. 

turn pete nil aliud, saevo nisi ab hoste recedam ; 

hostem Fortunam sit satis esse mihi. 
plura quidem subeunt, sed conturbata 2 timore 
haec quoque vix poteris voce tremente loqui. 
155 suspicor hoc damno fore non tibi. sentiet ilia 

te maiestatem pertimuisse suam. 
nee, tua si fletu scindentur verba, nocebit : 
interdum lacrirnae pondera vocis habent. 
lux etiam coeptis facito bona talibus adsit 
160 horaque conveniens auspiciumque favens. 
sed prius imposito sanctis altaribus igni 

tura fer ad magnos vinaque pura deos. 
e quibus ante omnis Augustum numen adora 

progeniemque piam participemque tori. 
165 sint utinam mites soli to tibi more tuasque 
non duris lacrimas vultibus aspiciant. 

1 terrae 2 sunt turbata : conturbata T 

1 In 1. 143 the good manuscripts preserve only the word 
omnia. A stopgap appears in the later ones, curia cum 
patribus fuerit stipata verendis, ** when the senate-house is 
crowded with the revered fathers." 


EX PONTO, III. i. 139-166 

with something of greater import, put off thy purpose 
and beware of ruining my hope through haste. Nor 
again do I bid thee seek a time when she is wholly 
idle she scarce has leisure for the care of her own 
person . . . l thou too shouldst follow amid the throng 
of affairs. 

145 When it shall befall thee to approach the coun- 
tenance of Juno, see that thou dost maintain the part 
thou hast to play. Defend not my deed : an ill 
cause admits no speech. Let thy words be naught 
but sorrowing petitions. Then must thou release 
the barrier of tears, sink to the earth, and stretch 
forth thy arms towards those immortal feet. Then 
ask nothing except that I may withdraw from the 
neighbourhood of a fierce enemy ; let Fortune for 
me be enemy enough. More comes into my mind, 
but confused with fear even this thou wilt scarce be 
able to utter with stammering voice. This I think 
will not harm thee. She will perceive thy dread of 
her majesty and if thy words are broken by sobbing 
it will do no harm ; for tears sometimes have the 
weight of spoken words. 

169 See also that thou hast a lucky day for such an 
enterprise and a suitable hour and favouring omens. 
But first kindle a fire upon the holy altar, offer incense 
and pure wine to the great gods. Of them all and 
before all worship the deity of Augustus, his loyal 
offspring and his consort. May they be propitious 
to thee in their wonted fashion, and view thy tears 
with kindly countenances. 




Quam legis a nobis missam tibi, Cotta, salutem, 

missa sit ut vere perveniatque, precor. 
namque meis sospes multum cruciatibus aufers, 

atque 1 sit in 2 nobis pars bona salva facis. 
5 curnque labent aliqui iactataque vela relinquant, 

tu lacerae remanes ancora sola rati. 
grata tua est igitur pietas. ignoscimus illis, 

qui cum Fortuna terga dedere fugae. 
cum feriant unum, non unum fulmina terrent, 
10 iunctaque percusso turba pavere solet : 
cumque dedit paries venturae signa ruinae, 

sollicito vacuus fit locus ille metu. 
quis non e timidis aegri contagia vitat, 

vicinum metuens ne trahat inde malum ? 
16 me quoque amicorum nimio terrore metuque, 

non odio, quidam destituere mei. 
non illis pietas, non officiosa voluntas 

defuit : adversos extimuere deos. 
utque magis cauti possunt timidique videri, 
20 sic appellari non meruere mali. 

aut 3 meus excusat caros ita candor amicos, 

utque habeant de me crimina nulla, favet. 
sint hi contenti venia, iactentque 4 licebit 

purgari factum me quoque teste suum. 
25 pars estis pauci melior, qui rebus in artis 

ferre mihi nullam turpe putastis opem. 
tune igitur meriti morietur gratia vestri, 

cum cinis absumpto corpore factus ero. 

1 utque * sit in] ut sit vel sit ut 

8 aut] ut vel at vel et 

4 sientque vel signentque vel fugiantque corr. Korn 

EX PONTO, III. n. 1-28 


The "Health," 1 Cotta, of my sending which you 
read here, may it, I pray, be sent in truth and reach 
you. For your weal takes away much from my 
sufferings, causing a good part of me to be well. 
When many fall away and abandon the storm-blown 
sails, you remain the sole anchor of the shattered 
bark. Grateful, therefore, is your loyalty. I pardon 
those who along with Fortune have betaken them- 
selves to flight. Though they smite but one, not one 
alone do the lightnings affright, and the throng 
around the stricken ever quakes with fear. When 
a wall has given warning of its coming fall, anxiety 
and fear empty the place. What timid man does not 
avoid contact with the sick, fearing lest he contract 
a disease so near ? I too because of the excessive 
dread and alarm of my friends, not because of their 
hatred, was abandoned by some. They lacked not 
loyalty, nor the will to duty ; they dreaded the 
hostile gods. They can be deemed too cautious and 
timid, yet they have not deserved to be called wicked. 
Or else my charity pardons friends who are dear to 
me and favours them so much that from me they bear 
no blame. Let them be content with this indulgence 
and they shall be free to boast that their act is 
justified even by my testimony. 

25 But you few are a better group, who in my straits 
thought it base to offer me no aid. So then will my 
gratitude for your merit die when my body shall be 

1 Referring to the regular opening formula of Roman 
letters : S.D. (salutem dicit) or S.P.I), (salutem plurtmam 

fee 385 


fallor, et ilia meae superabit tempera vitae, 
30 si tamen a memori posteritate legar. 
corpora debentur maestis exsanguia bustis : 
eftugiunt structos nomen honorque rogos. 
occidit et Theseus et qui comitavit Oresten : 

sed tamen in laudes vivit uterque suas. 
35 vos etiam seri laudabunt saepe nepotes, 

claraque erit scrip tis gloria vestra meis. 
hie quoque Sauromatae iam vos novere Getaeque, 

et tales animos barbara turba probat. 
cumque ego de vestra nuper probitate referrem 
40 (nam didici Getice Sarmaticeque loqui), 
forte senex quidam, coetu cum staret in illo, 

reddidit ad nostros talia verba sonos : 
" nos quoque amicitiae nomen, bone, novimu 


quos procul a vobis Pontus et Hister l habet. 
45 est locus in Scythia, Tauros dixere priores, 

qui Getica longe non ita distat humo. 
hac ego sum terra (patriae nee paenitet) ortus : 

consortem Phoebi gens colit ilia deam, 
templa manent hodie vastis innixa columnis, 
50 perque quater denos itur in ilia gradus. 
fama refert illic signum caeleste fuisse : 

quoque minus dubites, stat basis orba dea : 
araque, quae fuerat natura Candida saxi, 

decolor adfuso tincta cruore rubet. 
65 femina sacra facit taedae non nota iugali, 
quae superat Scythicas nobilitate nurus. 
sacrifici genus est, sic instituere parentes, 
advena virgineo caesus ut ense cadat. 

1 Pontus et HistcrJ barbarus ister, etr. 

EX PONTO, III. n. 29-58 

consumed to ashes I am wrong : it will outlive the 
span of my life, if after all posterity shall remember 
and read me. The bloodless body is destined for the 
mournful tomb ; name and honour escape the high- 
built pyre. Death befell even Theseus and him l 
who accompanied Orestes, but yet each still lives to 
his own renown. You too shall oft be praised by late- 
born descendants and bright shall be your fame by 
reason of my writings. Even here the Sauromatians 
and the Getae already know you ; such a spirit as 
yours finds favour with the barbarian throng. And 
when of late I was telling of your uprightness (for I 
have learned how to speak Getic and Sarmatian), it 
chanced that an aged man, standing in the circle, 
made this reply upon hearing my words, " We too, 
good stranger, are acquainted with friendship's name 
we whom the Pontus and the Hister separate from 
you and your people. There is a place in Scythia 
men before us called it Tauri not so far from the 
Getic soil. In that land was I born and I am not 
ashamed of my country. The people worship 
Phoebus 's companion goddess. The temple exists 
to-day with its huge columns ; by two score steps one 
enters. The story goes that there was once an image 
of the deity and, to remove your doubts, still stands 
the pedestal bereft of the goddess, and the altar, 
once white from the natural colour of the stone, is 
discolored and red with stains from outpoured blood. 
A woman who has not known the torch of marriage, 
offers the sacrifices who surpasses in birth the 
daughters of Scythia. The nature of the sacrifice 
so our forefathers ordained is that strangers fall, 
slain by the maiden's sword. Thoans ruled the 
1 Pylades. 



regna Thoans habuit Maeotide clams in ora, 
60 nee fuit Euxinis notior alter aquis. 

sceptra tenente illo liquidas fecisse per auras 

nescioquam dicunt Iphigenian iter. 
quam levibus ventis sub nube per aethera l vectam 

creditur his Phoebe deposuisse locis. 
65 praefuerat templo multos ea rite per annos, 

invita peragens tristia sacra manu : 
cum duo velifera iuvenes venere carina 
presseruntque suo litora nostra pede. 
par fuit his aetas et amor, quorum alter Orestes, 
70 alter erat Py lades 2 : nomina fama tenet, 
protinus inmitem Triviae ducuntur ad aram, 

evincti geminas ad sua terga manus. 
spargit aqua captos lustrali Graia sacerdos, 

ambiat ut fulvas infula longa comas. 
75 dumque parat sacrum, duni velat tempora vittis, 

dum tardae causas invenit ipsa morae, 
' non ego crudelis, iuvenes, (ignoscite) ' dixit 

1 sacra suo facio barbariora loco, 
ritus is est gentis. qua vos tamen urbe venitis ? 
80 quodve parum fausta puppe petistis iter ? ' 
dixit, et audito patriae pia nomine virgo 

consortes urbis comperit esse suae. 
' alter ut e vobis ' inquit * cadat hostia sacris, 

ad patrias sedes nuntius alter eat.' 
86 ire iubet Pylades carum periturus Oresten ; 

hie negat, inque vices pugnat uterque mori. 
extitit hoc unum, quo non convenerit illis : 

cetera par 3 concors et sine lite fuit. 
dum peragunt pulchri iuvenes certamen amoris 
90 ad fratrem scriptas exarat ilia notas. 

1 aequora vel aera : aethera <T 
2 alter et est pilades vel et pylades alter 


EX PONTO, III. n. 59-90 

kingdom, illustrious in the Maeotian land ; no other 
was better known to the Euxine's waters. Whilst 
he held the sceptre they say that a certain Iphigenia 
journeyed through the clear air. Her, carried by 
light breezes through the ether, beneath the shelter 
of a cloud, Phoebe established, so it is believed, in 
this region. Duly had she presided over the temple 
for many years, carrying out the gloomy rites with un- 
willing hand, when on a sail-bearing ship two youths 
arrived and set foot on our shores. Equal they were 
in youth and love, one Orestes, the other Pylades : 
fame holds fast their names. Forthwith were they 
led to Trivia's cruel altar, hands bound behind their 
backs. With lustral water the Grecian priestess 
sprinkled the captives that the long fillet might 
encircle their yellow locks. While she prepared the 
sacrifice, while she veiled their temples with the bands, 
while she found pretexts for lingering delay, * It is 
not I,' she said, ' youths, who am cruel ; grant me 
pardon. I perform sacrifices more barbarous than 
the land to which they belong. Tis the rite of the 
people. Yet from what city come ye ? On what 
journey have ye come in your ill-starred ship ? ' 
Thus spake the pious girl, and when she heard the 
name of her native land, she discovered that they 
were dwellers in her own city. ' Let one of you,' 
she said, ' fall as a victim in these rites, let the other 
go a messenger to the home of his fathers/ Pylades, 
bent on death, bade his Orestes go. He refuses, and 
each in turn fights to die. On this alone they did 
not agree : on all else those twain were at one and 
free from dispute. Whilst the fair youths carry on 
their contest of love, to her brother she traces written 
8 pars corr. Naugerius 



ad fratrem rnandata dabat, cuique ilia dabantur 

(humanos casus aspice !) frater erat. 
ncc mora, de templo rapiunt simulacra Dianae, 

clamque per inmensas puppe feruntur aquas. 
95 mirus amor iuvenum : quamvis abiere tot anni, 

in Scythia magnum nunc quoque nomen habent.' 
fabula narrata est postquam vulgaris ab iilo, 

laudarunt omnes facta piamque fidem. 
scilicet hac etiam, qua nulla ferocior ora est, 
100 nomen amicitiae barbara corda movet. 
quid facere Ausonia geniti debetis in urbe, 

cum tangant duros l talia facta Getas ? 
adde quod est animus semper tibi mitis, et altae 

indicium mores nobilitatis habent, 
105 quos Volesus patrii cognoscat nominis auctor, 

quos Numa maternus non neget esse suos. 
adiectique probent genetiva ad nomina 2 Cottae, 

si tu non esses, interitura domus. 
digne vir hac serie, lapso 3 succurrere amico 
110 conveniens istis moribus esse puta. 


Si vacat exiguum profugo dare iempus amieo, 

o sidus Fabiae, Maxime, gentis, ades, 
dum tibi quae vidi refero, seu corporis umbra 

seu veri species seu fuit ille sopor. 
5 nox erat et bifores intrabat luna fenestras, 

mense fere medio quanta nitere solet. 
publica me requies curarum somnus habebat, 

fusaque erant toto languida membra toro, 

1 diros 2 agnomina 8 lasso 


EX PONTO, III. ii. 91 in. 8 

letters. To her brother she was sending the missive 
and he to whom it was given behold the fate of 
man ! was in fact her brother ! 

93 With no delay they snatch from the temple the 
statue of Diana, and stealthily they are borne over 
the trackless waters in their ship. A marvel was the 
love of the youths : though so many years have 
passed, in Scythia even now they have a great name." 

97 After the telling of this well-known tale, all 
praised acts of loyal devotion. 'Tis clear that even 
on this shore, than which none is wilder, the name of 
friendship affects barbarian hearts. What ought ye 
to do, born in the Ausom'an city, when such deeds 
move the stern Getae ? And besides you have ever 
a gentle soul and, a token of your lofty birth, a 
character which Volesus, the founder of your father's 
name, would recognize, which Numa on your mother's 
side would not refuse to own, and the Cottae, who 
have been added to your natal name a line that but 
for your life would die out. O worthy of such a line, 
deem it in harmony with such character to succour 
a fallen friend ! 


If you have a little leisure to devote to an exiled 
friend, listen, Maximus, star of the Fabian race, 
while I relate what I have seen, whether it was the 
shadow of a body, the appearance of a reality, or 
merely a dream. 

5 Twas night. The moon was entering the double- 
shuttered windows with all her accustomed mid- 
month brightness. Sleep, the common rest from 
cares, possessed me, my inert limbs stretched about 



cum subito pinnis agitatus inhorruit aer, 
10 et gemuit parvo mota fenestra sono. 

tcrritus in cubitum relevo mea membra sinistrum, 

pulsus et e trepido pectore somnus abit. 
stabat Amor, vultu non quo prius esse solebat, 

fulcra tenens laeva tristis acerna manu, 
15 nee torquem collo, nee habens crinale capillo, 

nee bene dispositas comptus, ut ante, comas, 
horrida pendebant molles super ora capilli, 

et visa est oculis horrida pinna meis, 
qualis in aeriae tergo solet esse columbae, 
20 tractatam multae quam tetigere manus. 

hunc simul agnovi, neque enim mihi notior alter, 

talibus adfata est libera lingua sonis : 
" o puer, exilii decepto causa magistro, 

quern fuit utilius non docuisse mihi, 
25 hue quoque venisti, pax est ubi tempore nullo, 

et coit adstrictis barbarus Hister aquis ? 
quae tibi causa viae, nisi uti mala nostra vidcres ? 

quae sunt, si nescis, invidiosa tibi. 
tu mihi dictasti iuvenalia carmina primus : 
30 apposui senis te duce quinque pedes. 
nee me Maeonio consurgere carmine nee me 

dicere magnorum passus es acta ducum. 
forsitan exiguas, aliquas tamen, arcus et ignes * 

ingenii vires comminuere mei. 
35 namque ego dum canto tua regna tuaeque parentis 

in nullum mea mens grande vacavit opus, 
nee satis hoc fuerat. stulto 2 quoque carmine feci, 

Artibus ut posses non rudis esse meis. 
pro quibus exilium misero est mihi reddita merces, 
40 id quoque in extremis et sine pace locis. 

1 ignis 2 stultus 


EX PONTO, III. in. 9-40 

the couch, when on a sudden the air was vibrant with 
the movement of wings and a slight creaking sound 
arose as the window was moved. Startled I raised 
myself upon my left elbow, and sleep was driven from 
my trembling breast. There stood Love, not with 
the face he used to have, sadly resting his left hand 
upon the maple post, no necklace on his throat, no 
ornament in his hair, his locks not carefully arranged 
as of old. Over his unkempt face the soft hair was 
drooping ; his feathers seemed to my eyes all un- 
kempt, like those on the back of soaring dove which 
many hands have touched and handled. As soon as 
I recognized him and none other is better known to 
me my tongue became free and addressed him in 
in these words. " Boy, cause of thy master's exile, 
whom it had been better for me not to teach, hast 
thou come even hither where peace exists at no time, 
where the waters of the wild Hister feel the bonds of 
frost ? What reason hast thou for thy journey except 
to view my misfortunes ? These, if thou knowest 
it not, bring reproach upon thee. Thou wert the 
first to dictate my youthful verse to me ; it was 
under thy guidance that I set five feet after six. 
Thou didst not allow me to reach the height of 
Maeonian song l or to sing the deeds of mighty 
chieftains. Slight perhaps, yet something, was the 
strength of my talent, but thy bow and thy fires 
brought weakness. For whilst I sang thy sway and 
that of thy mother, my mind had room for no great 
work. Nor was this all : by a foolish poem as well, 
by my " Art," I caused thee to lose thy inexperience. 
For this the reward of exile was meted out to 
wretched me, and that too in a land far away and 

1 Epic. 



at non Chionides Eumolpus in Orphea talis, 

in Phryga nee Satyrum talis Olympus erat, 
praeinia nee Chiron ab Achille talia cepit, 

Pythagoraeque ferunt non nocuisse Numam. 
45 nomina neu referam longum collecta per aevum, 

discipulo perii solus ab ipse meo. 
dum damus arma tibi, dum te, lascive, docemus, 

haec te discipulo dona magister habet. 
scis tamen, et liquido iuratus dicere possis, 
50 non me legitimos sollicitasse toros. 

scripsimus haec illis, quarum nee vitta pudicos 

contingit crines nee stola longa pedes. 
die, precor, ecquando didicisti fallere nuptas, 

et facere incertum per mea iussa genus ? 
55 an sit ab his omnis rigide summota libellis, 

quam lex furtivos arcet habere viros ? 
quid tamen hoc prodest, vetiti si lege severa 

credor adulterii composuisse notas ? 
at tu, sic habeas ferientes cuncta sagittas, 
60 sic numquam rapido lampades igne vacent, 
sic regat imperium terrasque coerceat omnis 

Caesar, ab Aenea qui tibi fratre tuus, 1 
effice, sit nobis non inplacabilis ira, 

meque loco plecti commodiore velit." 
65 haec ego visus eram puero dixisse volucri, 

hos visus nobis ille dedisse sonos : 
" per mea tela, faces, et per mea tela, sagittas, 

per inatrem iuro Caesareumque caput, 
nil nisi concessum nos te didicisse magistro, 
70 Artibus et nullum crimen inesse tuis. 
1 tuus] nepos 

1 Orpheus instructed Eumolpus in the Eleusinian 

2 Marsyas, who taught Olympus to play the pipes. 


EX PONTO, III. m. 41-70 

never at peace. Not so did Chionian Eumolpus 
treat Orpheus, 1 nor Olympus treat the Phrygian 
Satyr, 2 nor did Chiron receive such a reward from 
Achilles, and they say that Numa did no harm to 
Pythagoras. Not to repeat the names amassed 
through the long ages I am the only one who has 
been ruined by his own pupil. Whilst 1 give arms 
to thee, whilst I teach thee, wanton one, this is 
the reward, with thee as pupil, that thy master has. 
Yet thou knowest, and thou couldst swear it with a 
clear conscience, that I have not disturbed lawful 
wedlock. This I wrote for those who have no modest 
locks to be touched with the fillet nor a long stole 
descending to their feet. 3 Speak, I beg thee hast 
thou at any time learned to deceive brides, rendering 
descent uncertain by my precepts ? Or has not every 
wo nan been strictly excluded from these books 
whom the law protects from stealthy paramours ? 
Yet of what avail is this if men believe that I have 
composed directions for that adultery which is for- 
bidden by stern laws ? But do thou so mayst thou 
possess arrows that smite all, so may thy torches 
never lose their swift flame, so may Caesar, who 
through thy brother Aeneas is thy kin, guide his 
realm and control all lands cause his wrath to be 
not implacable against me, cause him to be willing 
that I be punished in a better place/' 

65 Thus methought I spoke to the winged boy, in 
these words methought he answered me, " By my 
weapons, the torch and arrows, by my mother I 
swear, and by Caesar's head, that I have learned 
naught but what is lawful from thy mastership, that 
there resides no crime in thine * Art.' As I defend 

8 i.e. for courtesans, not matrons, cf. Tr. ii. 245 ff. 



utque hoc, sic utinam defendere cetera possem l ! 

scis aliud, quod te laeserit, esse, magis. 
quicquid id est (neque enim debet dolor ipse referri, 

nee potes a culpa dicere abesse tua) 
75 tu licet erroris sub imagine crimen obumbres, 

non gravior merito iudicis 2 ira fuit. 
ut tamen aspicerem consolarerque iacentem, 

lapsa per inmensas est mea pinna vias. 
haec loca turn primum vidi, cum matre rogante 
80 Phasias est telis fixa puella meis. 

quae nunc cur iterum post saecula longa revisam, 

tu facis, o castris miles amice meis. 
pone metus igitur : mitescet Caesaris ira, 

et veniet votis mollior hora tuis. 
85 neve moram timeas, tempus, quod quaerimus, instat, 

cunctaque laetitiae plena triumphus habet. 
dum domus et nati. dum mater Livia gaudet, 

dum gaudes, patriae rnagne ducisque pater, 
dum sibi gratatur populus, totamque per urbem 
90 omnis odoratis ignibus ara calet, 

dum faciles aditus praebet venerabilc templum, 3 

sperandum est nostras posse valere preces." 
dixit, et aut ille est tenues dilapsus in auras, 

coeperunt sensus aut vigilare mei. 
95 si dubitem, faveas quin his, o Maxime, dictis, 

Mcmnonio cycnos esse colore putem. 
sed neque mutatur 4 nigra pice lacteus humor, 

nee, quod erat candens, fit terebinthus ebur. 

1 posses * vinSicis 

8 templum] tempus vel numen 4 fuscatur 

1 Medea. 

2 The triumph of Tiberius over Germany, Jan. 16, A.D. 13. 
3 Memnon as an Ethiopian was conceived to be black. 


EX PONTO, 111. in. 7i-yo 

thee on this score, would I could on the rest ! Thou 
knowest there is another thing that has injured thee 
more. Whatever this is (for neither should the 
painful tale itself be repeated nor canst thou say that 
thou art free from guilt), though thou dost veil 
thy crime under the guise of ' error ' the wrath of the 
judge was not too severe. However, to look upon 
thee, to console thee downcast, my wings have 
glided over measureless ways. This region I first 
saw when at my mother's request I pierced the 
Phasian maiden l with my darts. The reason for my 
second visit now, after long ages, is in thee, friendly 
soldier of my own camp. So put aside thy fears ; 
Caesar 's wrath will soften, a gentler hour will be 
vouchsafed to thy prayers. Fear not delay ; the 
time we seek is close at hand ; the triumph 2 fills 
everything with joy. While the house and the 
children, while their mother Livia rejoices, while 
thou, great father of our land and of our leader, dost 
rejoice, while the people congratulate themselves, 
and throughout the city every altar burns with 
fragrant flames, while the holy temple affords an easy 
approach, we may hope that our prayers can have 
some effect." 

93 He spoke and glided away into thin air or else 
my own senses began to awaken. 

95 Were I to doubt your favour for these words, 
Maximus, I should believe that swans are the 
colour of Memnon. 3 But milk is not changed to 
black pitch nor does shining ivory become terebinth. 



conveniens animo genus est tibi, nobile namque 
100 pectus et Herculeae simplicitatis habes. 
livor, iners vitium, mores non exit in altos, 

utque latens ima vipera serpit humo. 
mens tua sublirnis supra genus eminet ipsum, 

grandius ingenio nee tibi nomen inest. 
105 ergo alii noceant miseris optentque timeri, 

tinctaque mordaci spicula felle gerant : 
at tua supplicibus domus est adsueta iuvandis, 

in quorum numero me, precor, esse velis. 


Haec tibi non vanam portantia verba salutem 

Naso Tomitana mittit ab urbe tuus, 
utque suo faveas mandat, Rufine, Triumpho, 

in vestras venit si tamen ille manus. 
6 est opus exiguum vestrisque paratibus inpar : 

quale tamen cumque est, ut tueare, rogo. 
firma valent per se, nullumque Machaona quaerunt. 

ad medicam dubius confugit aeger opem. 
non opus est magnis placido lectore poetis : 
10 quamlibet l invitum difficilemque tenent. 
nos, quibus ingenium longi minuere labores, 

aut etiam nullum forsitan ante fuit, 
viribus infirmi, vestro candore valemus : 

quern 2 mihi si demas, omnia rapta putem. 
15 cunctaque cum mea sint propenso nixa favore, 

praecipuum veniae ius habet ille liber. 

1 quemlibet corr. r a quod 

1 The Fabii claimed descent from Hercules, the protector 
of the oppressed. 

2 Perhaps Ex P. ii. 1 , the poem on the triumph of Tiberius, 

EX PONTO, 111. m. yy iv. iu 

Birth suited to your spirit is yours, for you have a 
noble breast, with the candour of Hercules. 1 Envy, 
the vice of cowardice, enters not into lofty character, 
but creeps like a hidden snake along the ground. 
Your mind towers aloft above even your birth, for 
your name is not greater than your character. So 
let others injure the wretched and desire to be 
feared ; let them carry missiles dipped in corroding 
poison ; your house at least is used to assisting 
suppliants. In their number, I beseech you, count 
me also. 


These words that bring no empty greeting your 
Naso sends from the town of Tomis, and he entrusts to 
you the fostering of his " Triumph," 2 Rufinus, if after 
all it has reached your hands. 'Tis a humble work, 
not equal to your preparations, 3 yet such as it is, he 
requests for it your guardianship. Strong things 
have powers of their own, and need no Machaon 4 ; 
the sick man in his danger has recourse to the art of 
healing. Great poets need no favouring reader : 
they hold even the unwilling or him who is hard to 
please. I, whose talent has been diminished by long 
sorrows or perhaps even of old I had no talent 
weakened now, am strong in your generosity ; if 
you take that from me, I should deem all else torn 
away. And though all my work rests upon kindly 
favour, that poem has a special right to indulgence, 

8 Others are included with Rufinus, cf. vestris (5), vestras 
(4), vos (23). Great preparations, including poems, were 
being made to celebrate the triumph, cf. 53 f. 

* i.e. no physician. 



spectatum vates alii scripsere triumphum : 

est aliquid memori visa notare manu. 
nos ea vix avidam vulgo captata per aurem 
20 scripsimus, atque oculi fama fuere mei. 
scilicet adfectus similes, aut impetus idem 

rebus ab auditis conspicuisque venit ! 
nee nitor argenti, quern vos vidistis, et auri 

quod mihi defuerit, purpuraque ilia, queror : 
25 sed loca, sed gentes formatae mille figuris 

nutrissent carmen proeliaque ipsa meum, 
et regum vultus, certissima pignora mentis, 1 

iuvissent aliqua forsitan illud opus, 
plausibus ex ipsis populi laetoque favore 
30 ingenium quodvis incaluisse potest : 

tamque ego sumpsissem tali clamore vigorem, 

quam rudis audita miles ad arma tuba, 
pectora sint nobis nivibus glacieque licebit 

atque hoc, quern patior, frigidiora loco, 
35 ilia ducis facies in curru stantis eburno 

excuteret frigus sensibus omne meis. 
his ego defectus dubiisque auctoribus usus 

ad vestri venio iure favoris opem. 
nee mihi nota ducum nee sunt mihi nota locorum 
40 nomina. materiam non habuere manus. 
pars quota de tantis rebus, quarn fama referre 

aut aliquis nobis scribere posset, erat ? 
quo magis, o lector, debes ignoscere, si quid 

erratum est illic praeteritumve mihi. 
45 adde quod assidue domini meditata querellas 

ad laetum carmen vix mea versa lyra est. 
vix bona post tanto quaerenti verba subibant, 

et gaudere aliquid res mihi visa nova est. 

1 mentis] gen Us 

EX PONTO, III. iv. 17-48 

Other bards have seen the triumph they have 
described 'tis something to note with faithful 
hand what one has seen I have described what I 
have caught with difficulty in an eager ear from 
common hearsay ; rumour has been for me my eyes. 
Forsooth the same passion, the same vigour comes 
from what has been heard and from what has been 
seen ! Not the absence of the gleaming silver or 
gold that you have seen causes my complaint ; but 
the places, the peoples in a thousand forms, the very 
battles would have fed my verse the countenances 
of the kings, the surest indication of their souls, 
would have aided, somehow perchance, that work. 

29 From the very applause and glad approval of the 
people any talent can catch the flame ; I should have 
won vigour from such acclaim even as the raw recruit 
when he hears the trumpet call to arms. Though 
my breast be colder than snow or ice colder even 
than this land which I endure the aspect of that 
general standing in the ivory car would drive all cold 
from my senses. 

37 Lacking all this and using vague sources, rightly 
do I resort to the aid of your favour. I know not the 
names of the chieftains, I know not the names of the 
places ; there was no material for my hands. How 
small a part of such mighty events could rumour 
bring me or some friend write ! The more then, my 
reader, ought you to grant me pardon if I have erred 
or omitted anything therein. Add too that my lyre 
for ever conning its master's plaints could scarcely 
turn to a song of rejoicing. Happy words after so 
long a time responded with difficulty to my quest ; 
to rejoice at anything seemed to me a new tiling, and 

2D 401 


utque reformidant insuetum lumina solem, 
60 sic ad laetitiam mens mea segnis erat. 

est quoque cunctarum novitas carissima * rerum, 

gratiaque officio, quod mora tardat, abest. 
cetera certatim de magno scrip La triumpho 

iam pridem populi suspicor ore legi. 
55 ilia bibit sitiens lector, mea pocula plenus : 
ilia recens pota est, nostra tepebit aqua, 
non ego cessavi, nee fecit inertia serum : 

ultima me vasti sustinet ora freti. 
dum venit hue rumor properataque carmina mint 
60 factaque eunt ad vos, annus abisse potest. 
nee minimum refert, intacta rosaria primus, 

an sera carpas paene relicta manu. 
quid mirum, lectis exhausto floribus horto, 
si duce non facta est digna corona tuo 2 ? 
65 deprecor hoc 3 : vatum 4 contra sua carmina ne quis 

dicta putet ! pro se Musa locuta mea est. 
sunt mihi vobiscum communia sacra, poetae, 

in vestro miseris si licet esse choro. 
magnaque pars anirnae mecum vixistis, amici : 
70 hac ego vos absens nunc quoque parte colo. 
sint igitur vestro mea commendata favore 

carmina, non possum pro quibus ipse loqui. 
scripta placent a morte fere, quia laedere vivos 

livor et iniusto carpere dente solet. 
75 si genus est mortis male vivere, terra moratur, 
et desunt fatis sola sepulchra meis. 

1 calidissima 2 suo corr. Owen 

8 haec vel o 4 vates 


EX PONTO, III. iv. 49-76 

as eyes shrink before the sun to which they have been 
unaccustomed, so towards joyousness my mind 
moved slowly. Timeliness also is the most precious 
of all things, and that homage which is delayed 
receives no favour. Others have vied in writing of 
the mighty triumph and for a long time now, I 
suppose, the people have been reading them. These 
things thirsty readers have drunk ; to my bowls they 
come with thirst already slaked : that drink is fresh, 
mine will be stale. 

57 1 have not dallied, idleness has not made me 
slow ; I am living on the most remote coast of the 
vast sea. While news is coming to me and hasty 
verse is being composed and when composed is 
travelling to you, a year may pass. It matters not 
a little whether one is first in the untouched rose- 
garden or with late hand plucks blooms which have 
been almost passed by. What wonder, when the 
flowers have been gathered until the garden is 
stripped, if a chaplet has been twined not worthy of 
your leader ! 

65 This I disavow : let no poet think these words 
uttered in derogation of his verse ; my Muse has 
but spoken in her own behalf. I have rites in 
common with you, ye poets if you allow the un- 
fortunate a place in your guild. Your life with me 
was a great part of my soul, my friends ; even now 
in absence I continue thus to cherish you. Do you 
then grant the favour of your commendation to verse 
for which I cannot plead myself. Writings oft find 
favour after death, since malice is wont to injure the 
living, gnawing with unjust tooth. If to live in 
wretchedness is a kind of death, then earth is a 
loiterer and my fate lacks only the tomb. In fine 



denique opus curae culpetur ut undique nostrae, 

officium nemo qui reprehendat erit. 
ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas : 
80 hac ego contentos auguror esse deos. 

haec facit ut veniat pauper quoque gratus ad aras, 

et placeat caeso non minus agna bove. 
res quoque tanta fuit, quantae subsistere summo 

Aeneadum 1 vati grande fuisset onus. 
85 ferre etiam molles elegi tarn vasta triurnphi 

pondera disparibus non potuere rotis. 
quo pede nunc utar, dubia est sententia nobis : 

alter enim de te, Rhene, triumphus adest. 
inrita motorum 2 non sunt praesagia vatum : 
90 danda lovi laurus, dum prior ilia viret. 

nee mea verba legis, qui sum summotus ad Histrum. 

non bene pacatis flumina pota Getis : 
ista dei vox est, deus est in pectore nostro, 

haec duce praedico vaticinorque deo. 
95 quid cessas currum pompamque par are triumphis, 

Li via ? dant nullas iam tibi bella moras. 
perfida damnatas Germania proicit hastas. 

iam pondus dices omen habere meum. 
crede, brevique fides aderit. geminabit honorem 
100 filius, et iunctis, ut prius, ibit equis. 

prome, quod inicias umeris victorious, ostrum : 

ipsa potest solitum nosse corona caput : 
scuta sed et galeae gemmis radientur et auro, 

stentque super vinctos 3 trunca tropaea viros : 

1 enidos vel aenidos vel aeneidos corr. Ehwald 
2 votorum corr. Heinsius 3 iunctos vel victos 

1 Vergil. 2 Tiberius, 


EX PONTO, III. iv. 77-104 

though the result of my toil be everywhere dis- 
approved, none will there be to blame my loyalty. 
Even though I lack the strength, yet the will is 
praiseworthy ; with this, I divine, the gods are con- 
tent. This it is which makes even the poor man well 
received when he approaches the altar, and a lamb 
receives no less favour than a slaughtered ox. 

83 The theme too was great enough to have formed 
a heavy burden even for the mighty bard l of the 
Aeneadae. Moreover frail couplets could not sup- 
port the weight of so vast a triumph upon their 
uneven wheels. What metre I am now to use I 
am in doubt : for a second triumph is close at hand 
over thee, O Rhine. The prophecies of inspired 
bards are not empty : a laurel wreath is destined to 
be given to Jupiter while that other is still green. 
'Tis not my words you read I am far away by the 
Hister whose waters the wild Getae drink 'tis the 
voice of a god : a god is in my breast ; under a god's 
inspiration I make this prophecy. Why dost thou 
hesitate, Livia, to make ready a car and a procession 
for a triumph ? Already the war grants thee no 
delay. Traitorous Germany is casting away the 
spears she has learned to hate. Soon thou wilt say 
that my prophecy has weight. O believe ; soon 
shall the proof be at hand. Thy son 2 shall double 
his honour and shall advance, as before, with yoked 
steeds. Bring forth the purple to throw upon the 
victor's shoulders ; the chaplet of itself can recog- 
nize the familiar brow ; but let shield and greaves 
glitter with jewels and gold, and trophies stand 
upreared 3 above the enchained men. Let towns 

3 Trunca, because trophies were originally fastened to a 
tree whose branches had been lopped. 



105 oppida turritis cingantur eburnea muris, 

fictaque res vero more putetur agi. 
squalidus inmissos fracta sub harundine crines 

Rhenus et infectas sanguine portet aquas, 
barbara iam capti poscunt insignia reges 
110 textaque fortuna divitiora sua, 

et quae praeterea virtus invicta tuorum 

saepc parata tibi, saepe paranda facit. 
di, quorum monitu sumus eventura locuti, 

verba, precor, celeri nostra probate fide. 


Quam legis, unde tibi mittatur epistula, quaeris ? 

hinc, ubi caeruleis iungitur Hister aquis. 
ut regio dicta est, succurrere debet et auctor, 

laesus ab ingenio Naso poeta suo. 
5 qui tibi, quam mallet praesens adferre salutem, 

mittit ab hirsutis, Maxime Cotta, Getis. 
legimus, o iuvenis patrii non degener oris, 

dicta tibi pleno verba diserta foro. 
quae quamquam lingua mihi sunt proper ante per horas 
10 lecta satis multas, pauca fuisse queror. 

plura sed haec feci relegendo saepe, nee umquam 

non mihi, quam primo, grata fuere magis. 
cumque nihil [ totiens lecta 2 e dulcedine perdant, 

viribus ilia suis, non novitate, placent. 
15 felices quibus haec ipso cognoscere in actu 

et tam facundo contigit ore frui ! 
nam, quamquam sapor est adlata dulcis in unda, 

gratius ex ipso fonte bibuntur aquae. 

1 nihil] sua a lecta] nihil 


EX PONTO, III. iv. 105 v. 18 

of ivory be girdled with turreted walls, and the 
pretence be so real as to seem true. Let squalid 
Rhenus with locks trailing beneath broken rushes dis- 
play waters dyed with blood. Already captive kings 
are calling for barbarian adornment, for a garb too rich 
to become their fate, and all the other things which the 
unconquered valour of thy sons has caused thee often 
to prepare, and will cause thee often to prepare. 

113 Ye gods, whose admonition inspires my prophecy 
of events to come, justify my words, I pray, with a 
speedy proof. 


Whence comes the letter that you read, you ask ? 
From this place where Hister unites with the blue 
waves. Soon as the place is named the writer too 
should come before you he whose own talent 
injured him, Naso the poet. To you, Maximus Cotta, 
to whom he would rather offer it face to face, he sends 
a greeting from the land of the shaggy Getae. 

7 I have read, O youth not untrue to your inherited 
oratory, the eloquent words you uttered in a crowded 
forum, and though my hurrying tongue has read them 
for many an hour, yet is it my complaint that they 
were few. But I have multiplied them by frequent 
reading, and ever have they been more pleasing to 
me than at first, and though they ^ lose by so much 
reading nothing of their sweetness, 'tis by their force, 
not their novelty, that they please. Happy they 
who were vouchsafed to hear them at their delivery, 
and to enjoy utterance so eloquent! For albeit 
water that is brought to one tastes sweet, more 
grateful is that which is drunk from the spring itself. 
6 407 


et magis adducto pomum decerpere ramo 
20 quam de caclata sumere lance iuvat. 

at nisi peccassem, nisi me mea Musa fugasset, 

quod legi, tua vox exhibuisset opus, 
utque fui solitus, sedissem forsitan unus 

de centum iudex in tua verba viris, 
25 maior et implesset praecordia nostra voluptas, 

cum traherer dictis adnueremque tuis. 
quern quoniam fatum patria vobisque l relictis 

inter inhumanos maluit esse Getas, 
quod licet, ut videar tecum magis esse, legenda 2 
30 saepe, precor, studii pignora mitte tui, 
exemploque meo, nisi dedignaris id ipsum, 

utere, quod nobis rectius ipse dares. 
namque ego, qui perii iam pridem, Maxime, vobis, 

ingenio nitor non periisse meo. 
35 redde vicem, nee rara tui monimenta laboris 

accipiant nostrae, grata futura, manus. 
die tamen, o iuvenis studiorum plene meorum, 

ecquid ab his ipsis admoneare mei. 
ecquid, ubi aut recitas factum modo carmen amicis, 
40 aut, quod saepe soles, exigis ut recitent, 

quaeror, ut 3 interdum tua mens, oblita quid nbsit, 

nescio quid certe sentit abesse sui, 
utque loqui multum de me praesente solebas, 
nunc quoque Nasonis nomen in ore tuo est ? 
45 ipse quidem Getico peream violatus ab arcu 

(et sit periuri quam prope poena, vides) 
te nisi momentis video paene omnibus absens. 
gratia quod 4 menti quolibet ire licet. 

nobis patriaque vel patria nobisque 
8 ut]et 

1 Ovid had been a member of the Centumviral Court, cf. 
Tr. ii. 93 f. 


EX PONTO, III. v. 19 48 

To draw down the branch and pluck the fruit gives 
more pleasure than to take it from an engraved 
salver. If I had not erred, if my Muse had never 
exiled me, your own voice would have delivered to 
me the work that I have read ; as I was wont, I 
should perchance have sat as one of those hundred 
judges intent upon your words, 1 and a greater joy 
would have filled my breast when I was drawn on and 
with nods approved each phrase. But since Fate has 
wished rather that I, leaving my country and you, 
should dwell among the uncivilized Getae, that I may 
seem the more to be with you send for my reading 
(this is possible) continual proofs, I beseech you, 
of your study ; follow my example, unless you dis- 
dain it, an example which you yourself with greater 
right might give to me. For I, Maximus, who have 
long been dead, strive by my talent to prove myself 
not to be dead to you. Recompense me, and at no 
rare intervals let the monuments of your toil come 
into my hands to give me joy. 

37 But tell me, my youthful friend, you who are 
inspired with my own studies, if these very studies 
bring you any remembrance of me. Whenever you 
read to your friends a poem newly composed or, as 
you are often wont to do, urge them to read, do 
you miss me so that at times your mind, though 
forgetful of what is lacking, yet feels at least some 
part of it is gone ? As you used to talk often of me 
in my presence, is Naso's name now also on your 
lips ? As for me, may I die outraged by a Getic bow 
and you see how close my penalty if I prove false 
if I do not see you at almost every moment, absent 
though I am. Grateful must we be that the heart 
may go whithersoever it will. When in this way I 



hac ubi perveni nulli cernendus in urbem, 
50 saepe loquor tecum, saepe loquente fruor. 

turn mihi difficile est, quam sit bene, dicere, quamque 

Candida iudiciis ilia sit hora meis. 
turn me, siqua fides, caelesti sede receptum 

cum fortunatis suspicor esse deis. 
55 rursus ubi hue redii, caelum superosque relinquo, 

a Styge nee longe Pontica distat humus, 
unde ego si fato nitor prohibente reverti, 

spem sine profectu, Maxime, tolle mihi. 


Naso suo (posuit nomen quam x paene !) sodali 

mittit ab Kuxinis hoc breve carmen aquis. 
at si cauta parum scripsisset dextra quis esses, 

forsitan officio parta querella foret. 
5 cur tarnen, hoc aliis tutum credentibus, unus, 

appellent ne te carmina nostra. rogas ? 
quanta sit in media dementia Caesaris ira, 

si nescis, ex me certior esse potes. 
huic ego, quam patior, nil possem demere poenae, 
10 si iudex merit! cogerer esse mei. 

non vetat ille sui quemquam meminisse sodalis, 

nee prohibet tibi me scribere tequc mihi. 
nee scelus admittas, si consoleris amicuni, 

mollibus et verbis aspera fata leves. 
15 cur, dum tuta times, facis ut reverentia talis 

fiat in Augustos invidiosa deos ? 
fulminis adflatos interdum vivere telis 

vidimus et refici, non prohibente love. 

1 quam] cui 

EX PONTO, III. v. 49 vi. 18 

have entered the city though none can see me, I 
often converse with you, often enjoy your converse. 
Then 'tis hard to say how happy I am, how bright I 
think that hour. Then, if you can credit it, I con- 
ceive myself harboured in heaven's abode, dwelling 
with the blessed gods. Again when I have returned 
hither I leave behind heaven and the gods above ; 
the land of the Pontus is hard by the Styx. If 
my struggle to return from it is against the behest 
of fate, then, Maximus, take from me a fruitless 


Naso sends to his friend how nearly did he name 
him ! this bit of verse from the waters of the Euxine. 
But if with too little caution his hand had written 
who you were, perchance the tribute would have 
earned a complaint. Yet why, when others believe 
it safe, do you alone ask me not to address you in my 
verse ? How great is Caesar's clemency even in the 
midst of wrath, if you know it not, you may learn 
from my case. From this punishment that I suffer I 
could myself take away naught, were I forced to be 
the judge of my own deserts. He does not forbid 
anybody to mention a friend nor does he prevent me 
from writing to you nor you to me. You would 
commit no crime should you comfort your friend, 
lightening with gentle words his harsh fate. Why, 
fearful where no fear is, do you by such homage 
bring discredit upon the Augustan gods ? Men 
smitten by the lightning's bolt we have seen at times 
live and recover, nor did Jupiter prevent. Because 



nee, quia Neptunus navem lacerarat Ulixis, 
20 Leucothea nanti ferre negavit opem. 

crede mihi, miseris caelestia numina parcunt, 

nee semper laesos et sine fine premunt. 
principe nee nostro deus est moderatior ullus : 

lustitia vires temperat ille suas. 
25 nuper earn Caesar facto de marmore templo, 

iampridem posuit mentis in aede suae. 
luppiter in multos temeraria fulmina torquet, 

qui poenam culpa non meruere pati. 
obruerit cum tot saevis deus aequoris undis, 
30 ex illis mergi pars quota digna fuit ? 

cum pereant acie fortissima quaeque, vel ipso 

iudice delectus 1 Martis iniquus erit. 
at si forte velis in nos inquirere, nemo est 

qui se, quod patitur, commeruisse neget. 
35 adde quod extinctos vel aqua vel Marte vel igni 

nulla potest iterum restituisse dies, 
restituit multos aut poenae parte levavit 

Caesar : et in multis me, precor, esse velit. 
at tu, cum tali populus sub principe simus, 
40 adloquio profugi credis inesse metum ? 
forsitan haec domino Busiride iure timeres, 

aut solito clausos urere in aere viros. 
desine mitem animum vano infamare timore. 

saeva quid in placidis saxa vereris aquis ? 
45 ipse ego quod primo scripsi sine nomine vobis, 

vix excusari posse mihi videor. 
sed pavor attonito rationis ademerat usuni, 
cesserat omne novis consiliumque malis, 

1 dilectus 

EX PONTO, III. vi. 19-48 

Neptune had wrecked Ulysses' ship, Leucothea J did 
not refuse to aid him as he swam. O believe me, the 
deities of heaven are merciful to the wretched ; nor do 
they always and endlessly oppress the stricken. And 
no god is milder than our Prince, for Justice tempers 
his strength. Her Caesar but recently installed in a 
marble temple ; long ago he enshrined her in his 
heart. Jupiter hurls at haphazard his bolts against 
many who have by no fault deserved to suffer a 
penalty. Albeit the god of the sea has overwhelmed 
so many in the cruel waves, how small the number 
deserving to be drowned ! When the bravest die in 
battle, Mars' levy will be unjust even in his own judg- 
ment. But if perchance you wish to question each one 
of us, 2 there is not one who would deny that he had 
deserved his suffering. And those who have died at 
sea, in war, by fire no day can restore. But Caesar 
has restored many or lightened a part of their punish- 
ment ; may it be his will that I too be one of these 

39 But you, when we, his people, live under such an 
emperor do you believe that comforting an exile is 
dangerous ? Perhaps under the dominion of Busiris 
you might rightly fear this or under him 3 who was 
wont to burn men within the bronze . Cease to defame 
a tender heart with idle fear. Why fear cruel reefs 
in a calm sea ? Even I, for having written at first 
to you without your name, think that I can scarcely 
be excused. But I was so stunned that fear h, r id taken 
away the use of reason, and all power of thought had 
given way to the new misfortune ; fearful of my 

1 The sea goddess who aided Ulysses to reach Phaeacia. 

2 i.e. those whom Augustus had punished. 

8 Phalaris. 



fortunamque meam metuens, non vindicis iram, 
50 terrebar titulo noininis ipse mei. 

hactenus admonitus memori concede poetae l 

ponat ut in chartis nomina cara suis. 
turpe erit ambobus, longo mihi proximus usu 

si nulla libri parte legere mei. 
55 ne tamen iste metus somnos tibi rumpere possit, 

non ultra, quam vis, officiosus ero, 
teque tegam, qui sis, nisi cum permiseris ipse : 

cogetur nemo munus habere meum. 
tu modo, quern poteras vel aperte tutus amare, 
60 si res est anceps ista, latenter ama. 


Verba mihi desunt eadem tam saepe roganti, 

iamque pudet vanas fine carere preces. 
taedia consimili fieri de carmine vobis, 

quidque petam cunctos edidicisse reor. 
6 nostraque quid portet iam nostis epistula, quamvis 

cera 2 sit a vinclis non labefacta suis. 3 
ergo mutetur scripti sententia nostri, 

ne totiens contra, quam rapit amnis, earn, 
quod bene de vobis speravi, ignoscite, amici : 
10 talia peccandi iam mihi finis erit. 

nee gravis uxori dicar : quae scilicet in me 

quam proba tam timida est experiensque parum. 
hoc quoque, Naso, feres : etenim peiora tulisti. 

iam tibi sentiri sarcina nulla potest. 
15 ductus ab armento taurus detrectat 4 aratrum, 

subtrahit 5 et duro colla novella iugo : 

1 sodali <J charta 3 suis] meis 

4 detrectet 6 subtrahat 


EX PONTO, III, vi. 49 vii. 16 

own fate, not of the avenger's wrath, I was filled 
with dread by the superscription of my own name. 

51 Now that I have admonished you thus far, permit 
the poet who remembers you to place in his pages 
names that are dear to him. It will shame us both 
if you, so close to me through long intimacy, are 
mentioned nowhere in my book. Yet I would not 
have your slumbers broken by that dread of yours ; 
I will not display my devotion beyond your wishes, 
and I will conceal who you are save when you shall 
yourself grant leave ; none shall be forced to receive 
my tribute. Only do you, though you might with 
safety have loved me openly, if that seems danger- 
ous love me in secret. 


Words fail me to make the same request so many 
times ; and at last it shames me that my idle prayers are 
endless. You are all weary of my monotonous verses, 
and rny request you have learned by heart, I think. 
What message my letter bears you know already, 
although the wax has not been broken from its bonds. 
So let me change the purport of my writing that my 
course be not so often against the hurrying stream. 

9 For my good hopes of you, pardon me, my friends : 
of such error now there shall be an end. Nor will I 
be called a trouble to my wife who in sooth is as true 
to me as she is timid and backward in her efforts. 
This also, Naso, thou shalt bear, and thou hast borne 
worse things ; no burden can affect thee now. The 
bull when he is taken from the herd objects to the 
plough and wrenches his inexperienced neck from 



nos, quibus adsuevit fatum crudeliter uti, 

ad mala iam pridem non sumus ulla rudes. 
venimus in Geticos fines : moriamur l in illis, 
20 Parcaque ad extremum qua mea coepit eat. 
speni iuvat amplecti quae non iuvat inrita semper- 

et, fieri cupias siqua, futura putes : 
proximus huic gradus est bene desperare salutem, 

seque semel vera scire perisse fide. 
25 curando fieri quaedam maiora videmus 

vulnera, quae melius non tetigisse fuit. 
mitius ille perit, subita qui mergitur unda, 

quam sua qui tumidis brachia lassat 2 aquis. 
cur ego concepi Scythicis me posse carere 
30 finibus et terra prosperiore frui ? 

cur aliquid de me speravi lenius umquaru ? 

an fortuna mihi sic mea nota fuit ? 
torqueor en gravius, repetitaque forma locorum 

exilium renovat triste recensque facit. 
35 est tamen utilius, studium cessare meorum, 
quam, quas admorint, non valuisse preces. 
magna quidem res est, quam 3 non audetis, amici : 

sed si quis peteret, qui dare vellet, erat. 
duminodo non nobis 4 hoc Caesaris ira negarit, 
40 fortiter Euxinis inmoriemur aquis. 


Quae tibi quaerebam rnemorem testantia curam 
dona Tomitanus mittere posset ager. 

1 moriemur 2 iactat vd pulsat 

3 quam] sed 4 vnbis 

1 In bitter despair the poet resolves at least to die bravely 
if Caesar does not deny him even this. 


EX PONTO, III. vii. 17 vm. 2 

the hard yoke : I, beneath the practised cruelty of 
fate, have for long found no misfortune with which I 
am not familiar. I have come to the Getic shores ; 
let me die there and let my Fate continue to the end 
the course she has begun. 'Tis good to embrace a 
hope though it bring no good and be ever vain 
and whatever you long for that you may deem will 
happen. The next stage is utterly to give up hope of 
salvation, to know once and for all with full assurance 
that one is lost. Some wounds are made worse by 
treatment, as we see : it had been better not to 
touch them. More merciful is his death who is 
suddenly overwhelmed by the waters than his who 
wearies his arms in the heaving seas. Why did I 
conceive it possible for me to leave the Scythian land 
and enjoy a happier one ? Why did I ever hope any 
mercy for myself ? Was it thus that I had come to 
know my fate ? Lo ! my torture is all the worse, 
and the repeated description of this place but renews 
and freshens the harshness of my exile. Yet 'tis 
better that the zeal of my friends should cease than 
that the petitions they have brought should have had 
no weight. Serious indeed, my friends, is the thing 
you dare not : but if anybody were to ask, there is 
one who would be willing to grant. If only Caesar 's 
wrath does not deny me this, 1 1 shall bravely die on 
the shores of the Euxine sea. 


I was pondering what gift to witness my unfor- 

getting love of you the land of Tomis could send you 

2E 417 


dignus es argento, fulvo quoque dignior auro, 

sed te, cum donas, ista iuvare solent. 
6 nee tamen haec loca sunt ullo pretiosa metallo : 

hostis ab agricola vix sinit ilia fodi. 
purpura saepe tuos fulgens praetexit amictus. 

sed non Sarmatico tingitur ilia mari. 
vellera dura ferunt pecudes, et Palladis uti 
10 arte Tomitanae non didicere nurus. 
femina pro lana Cerealia munera frangit, 

suppositoque gravem vertice portat aquam. 
non hie pampineis amicitur vitibus ulmus, 

nulla premunt ramos ponder e poma suo. 1 
15 tristia deformes pariunt absinthia campi, 

terraque de fructu quam sit amara docet. 
nil igitur tota Ponti regione sinistri, 

quod mea sedulitas mittere posset, erat. 
clausa tamen misi Scythica tibi tela pharetra : 
20 hoste precor fiant ilia cruenta tuo. 

hos habet haec calamos, hos haec habet ora libellos, 

haec viget in nostris, Maxime, Musa locis ! 
quae quamquam misisse pudet, quia parva videntur, 

tu tamen haec, quaeso, consule missa boni. 


Quod sit in his eadem sententia, Brute, libellis, 
carmina nescio quern carpere nostra refers : 

nil nisi me terra fruar ut propiore rogare, 

et quam sim denso cinctus ab hoste loqui. 

6 o, quam de multis vitium reprehenditur unum I 

hoc peccat solum si mea Musa, bene est. 

1 BU09 


EX PONTO, III. vin. 3 ix. 6 

Worthy are you of silver, of tawny gold still more, but 
such things are wont to please you when you are the 
giver. Nor are these lands enriched by any mine : 
scarce does the enemy allow the farmer to dig there. 
Often has* the gleam of purple bordered your robe, 
but there is no such dye as that by the Sarmatian 
sea. The flocks produce a coarse fleece and the 
daughters of Tonris have not learned the craft of 
Pallas. Instead of working the wool they grind Ceres' 
gifts or carry heavy burdens of water supported on 
their heads. Here no clustering vines cloak the elms, 
no fruits bend the branches with their weight. Harsh 
wormwood is the product of the unsightly plains, and 
by this fruit the land proclaims its own bitterness. 

17 Nothing there was, then, in the whole region of ill- 
omened Pontus that all my pains could send. Yet I 
am sending some Scythian arrows enclosed in their 
quiver ; may they be stained, I pray, in the blood of 
your enemies ! Such are the pens on this shore, 
such the books ! Such is the Muse who flourishes, 
Maximus, in this place of mine ! I am ashamed to 
send them because they seem poor gifts; yet I pray 
you to take them in good part. 


Because these compositions of mine contain the 
same thought, Brutus, you report that somebody is 
carping at my verse : nothing (he says) but petition- 
ing that I may enjoy a land nearer home, and talk 
of the throng of enemies encircling me. Ah, how 
the critic seizes on but one of many shortcomings ! 
If this is the only blemish of my Muse, 'tis well. I 



ipse ego librorum video delicta meorum, 

cum sua plus iusto carmina quisque probet. 
auctor opus laudat : sic forsitan Agrius olim 
10 Thersiten facie dixerit esse bona. 

iudicium tamen hie nostrum non decipit error, 

nee, quicquid genui, protinus illud amo. 
cur igitur, si me videam delinquere, peccem, 

et patiar scripto crimen inesse, rogas ? 
15 non eadem ratio est sentire et demere morbos ; 

sensus inest cunctis, tollitur arte malum. 
saepe aliquod verbum oupiens mutare reliqui, 

iudicium vires destituuntque meum. 
saepe piget (quid enim dubitem tibi vera fateri) 
20 corrigere et longi ferre laboris onus. 

scribentem iuvat ipse labor 1 minuitque laborem, 

cumque suo crescens pectore fervet opus, 
corrigere ut 2 res est tanto magis ardua quanto 

magnus Aristarcho maior Homerus erat, 
25 sic animum lento curarum frigore laedit 

et 3 cupidi cursus frena retentat equi. 
atque ita di mites minuant mihi Caesaris irarn, 

ossaque pacata nostra tegantur humo, 
ut mihi conanti nonnumquam intendere curas 
30 fortunae species obstat acerba meae, 

vixque mihi videor, faciam qui 4 carmina, sanus, 

inque feris curem corrigere ilia Getis. 
nil tamen e scriptis magis excusabile nostris, 

quam sensus cunctis paene quod unus inest. 
35 laeta fere laetus cecini, cano tristia tristis : 

conveniens operi tempus utrumque suo est. 

1 favor * et vel at : ut Burmann 

8 et] ut 4 qni] quod vel cum 


EX PONTO, III. ix. 7-36 

myself perceive the defects of my own books despite 
the fact that every man is all too fond of his own 
verse. A creator finds praise for his own work : so 
perchance of old Agrius l may have called Thersites 
fair. Yet my judgment is not distorted by this 
failing : whatever I beget does not forthwith please 
me. Why then, you ask, if I perceive my mistakes, 
should I continue to err, permitting faults to remain 
in my writing ? 'Tis not the same story to feel and 
to cure a disease ; all men can feel, skill must remove 
the trouble. Often when I am desirous of changing 
some word I leave it, and my strength forsakes my 
judgment. Often why should I hesitate to confess 
to you the truth ? it irks me to emend and endure 
the burden of long toil. While writing the very toil 
gives pleasure and itself is lessened, and the growing 
work glows along with the writer's heart. But to 
emend even as it is a thing as much harder as 
great Homer was greater than Aristarchus, so it 
wears down the mind with a slow chill of worry, 
curbing the steed all eager for the race. As truly as 
I hope that the merciful gods may lessen Caesar's 
wrath and allow my bones to rest in peaceful soil, 
when I attempt to work carefully, sometimes the 
bitter vision of my lot confronts me and I think 
myself hardly sane in composing verses or in troubling 
to emend them among the wild Getae. 

33 And yet there is nothing more deserving of excuse 
in what I write than that in it all there is one single 
thought. Gay was oft my song when I was gay, sad it 
is now that I am sad : each period has a type of work 

1 Father of Thersites, r/. Ex P. iv. 13. 15 note. 



quid nisi de vitio scribam regionis amarae, 

utque loco moriar commodiore precer ? 
cum totiens eadem dicam, vix audior ulli, 
40 verbaque profectu dissimulata carent. 

et tamen haec eadem cum sint, non scripsimus l isdem, 

unaque per plures vox mea temptat opem. 
an, ne bis sensum lector reperiret eundem, 

unus amicorum, Brute, rogandus eras 2 ? 
45 non fuit hoc tanti. confesso ignoscite, docti : 

vilior est operis fama salute mea. 
denique materiam, quam 3 quis sibi finxerit ipse, 

arbitrio variat mult a poeta suo. 
Musa mea est index nimium quoque vera malorum. 
50 atque incorrupti pondera testis habet. 
nee liber ut fieret, sed uti sua cuique daretur 

littera, propositum curaque nostra fuit. 
postmodo collectas utcumque sine ordine iunxi : 

hoc opus electum ne mihi forte putes. 
55 da veniam scriptis, quorum non gloria nobis 

causa, sed utilitas officiumque fuit. 

1 scribimus vel scribitur * erat 

8 quam] cum Bentley 


EX PONTO, III. ix. 37-56 

that befits it. Of what am I to write save the evils 
of a bitter country and to pray that I may die in a 
pleasanter region ? I write so often of the same 
things that scarce any listen, and my words, which 
they feign not to understand, are without result. 
And yet though the words are always the same, I 
have not written to the same persons : my cry, 
always the same, seeks aid through many. Should 
I that some reader might not twice find the same 
sense petition you alone, Brutus, among my friends ? 
It was not worth the price ; pardon the confession, 
ye men of taste ! Cheaper in my eyes is the reputa- 
tion of my work than my own weal. In fine the 
subject which anyone may have fashioned for him- 
self, he varies in many ways to suit his own taste 
if he be a poet. My Muse is but too true an index 
of my misfortunes ; she has all the weight of an 
incorruptible witness. Not to produce a book, but 
to send a letter to each has been the object of my 
care. Later I collected them and put them together 
somehow, without order not to have you think per- 
chance that for this work I have made selections. 
Grant indulgence to my writings, for their purpose 
has been not my renown but my advantage, and to do 
homage to others. 




Accipe, Pompei, deductum carmen ab illo, 

debitor est vitae qui tibi, Sexte, suae. 
qui seu non prohibes a me tua nomina poni, 

accedet meritis haec quoque summa tuis : 
6 sive trahis vultus, equidem peccasse fatebor, 

delicti tamen est causa probanda mei. 
non potuit mea mens, quin esset grata, teneri. 

sit precor officio non gravis ira pio. 
o, 1 quotiens ego sum libris mini visus in 2 istis 
10 impius, in nullo quod legerere loco ! 
o, quotiens, alii cum vellem scribere, nomen 

rettulit in ceras inscia dextra tuum ! 
ipse mihi placuit mcndis in talibus error, 

et vix invita facta litura manu est. 
15 " viderit ! ad summam " dixi " licet ipse queratur ! 

hanc 3 pudet offensam non meruisse prius." 
da mihi, siquid ea est, hebetantem pectora Lethen. 

oblitus potero non tamen esse tui. 
idque sinas oro, nee fasti dita repellas 
20 verba, nee officio crimen inesse putes, 
et levis haec meritis referatur gratia tantis : 

si minus, invito te quoque gratus ero. 

1 o] di in] ab f hanc] a, t.. a ! 




Deign to receive a poem, Sextus Pompey, com- 
posed by him who is indebted to you for his life. 
If you do not prevent me from uttering your name 
this also will be added to the sum of your deserts : 
or if you frown, I shall indeed confess my mistake, but 
its cause must nevertheless win approval. My heart 
could not be restrained from gratitude ; let not your 
anger be heavy, I beseech you, upon my loyal 
service. Ah, how often have I thought myself un- 
grateful in these books because nowhere was your 
name read ! Ah, how often, when I wished to write to 
another, has my hand all unconsciously placed your 
name upon the wax ! The very mistake I made in 
such slips gave me pleasure and my hand was scarce 
willing to make the erasure. " Let him see it ! " I 
said, " though he may indeed complain ! Ashamed 
am I not to have earned this blame earlier ! " 
Give me, if such thing there be, the waters of Lethe 
that benumb the heart, yet I shall not be able to 
forget you. I beg you will permit this nor reject 
in contempt my words, nor think that in my tribute 
there is a sin. Let this slight gratitude be rendered 
to all your services ; if you do not, I shall be grateful 
even against your will. 



numquam pigra fuit nostris tua gratia rebus, 

nee mihi munificas area negavit opes. 
25 nunc quoque nil subitis dementia territa fatis 

auxilium vitae fertque 1 feretque meae. 
unde rogas forsan fiducia tanta futuri 

sit mihi ? quod fecit, quisque tuetur opus, 
ut Venus artificis labor est et gloria Coi, 
30 aequoreo madidas quae premit imbre comas : 
arcis ut Actaeae vel eburna vel aerea 2 custos 

bellica Phidiaca stat dea facta manu : 
vindicat ut Calamis laudem, quos fecit, equorum : 

ut similis verae vacca Myronis opus : 

35 sic ego pars rerum non ultima, Sexte, tuarum 

tutelaeque feror munus opusque tuae. 


Quod legis, o vates magnorum maxime regum, 

venit ab intonsis usque, Severe, Getis : 
cuius adhuc nomen nostros tacuisse libellos, 

si modo permittis dicere vera, pudet. 
5 orba tamen numeris cessavit epistula numquam 

ire per alternas officiosa vices, 
carmina sola tibi memorem testantia curam 

non data sunt. quid enim, quae facis ipse, darem ? 
quis mel Aristaeo, quis Baccho vina Falerna, 
10 Triptolemo fruges, poma det Alcinoo ? 

fertile pectus habes, interque Helicona colentes 

uberius nulli provenit ista seges. 

1 feretque vel refertque vel referta * aenea : aerea r 

1 Ovid plays on gratia (thanks), gratvs (grateful), and 
gratia (favour, kindness). 


EX PONTO, IV. i. 2311. 12 

23 Never has your grace 1 been slow to meet my 
need nor has your coffer ever denied me generous 
aid. Even now your clemency, not at all deterred 
by my sudden misfortune, offers and will continue 
to offer succour to my life. Whence, perchance you 
ask, have I so much confidence in the future ? Every 
man watches over the work he has wrought. Just 
as Venus is at once the work and glory of the Coan 
artist, 2 as she presses her locks damp with the spray 
of the sea ; as the war goddess 3 who guards the 
Actaean citadel stands in ivory or bronze wrought 
by the hand of Phidias, as Calamis claims renown 
for the steeds he has made, as the lifelike cow is 
Myron's work, so I am not the last of your posses- 
sions, Sextus ; I am known as the gift, the work of 
your guardianship. 


That which you are reading, Severus, mightiest 
bard of mighty kings, comes all the way from the 
land of the unshorn Getae, and that as yet my books 
have made no mention of your name if you will 
permit me to speak the truth brings me shame. 
Yet letters not in metre have never ceased to go 
on their mission of friendship between us. Verse 
alone, bearing witness to your thoughtful care, I 
have not given you : why should I give what you 
yourself compose ? Who would give honey to 
Aristaeus, Falernian wine to Bacchus, grain to Tripto- 
lemus, fruit to Alcinous ? You have a productive 
heart ; of those who cultivate Helicon, none displays 

* Apelles. * Athena. 



mittere ad hunc carmen, frondes erat addere silvis 

haec mihi cunctandi causa, Severe, fuit. 
15 nee tamen ingenium nobis respondet, ut ante, 

sed siccum sterili vomere litus aro. 
scilicet ut limus venas excaecat 1 in undis, 

laesaque suppresso fonte resistit aqua, 
pectora sic mea sunt limo vitiata malorum, 
20 et carmen vena pauperiore fluit. 

si quis in hac ipsum terra posuisset Homerum, 

esset, crede mihi, factus et ille Getes. 
da veniam fasso, studiis quoque frena remisi, 

ducitur et digitis littera rara meis. 
25 impetus ille sacer, qui vatum pectora nutrit, 

qui prius in nobis esse solebat, abest. 
vix venit ad partes, vix sumptae Musa tabellae 

inponit pigras paene coacta manus. 
parvaque, ne dicam scribendi nulla voluptas 
30 est mihi, nee numeris nectere verba iuvat. 
sive quod hinc fructus adeo non cepimus ullos, 

prinoipium nostri res sit ut ista mali : 
sive quod in tenebris numerosos ponere gestus, 2 

quodque legas nulli scribere carmen, idem est. 
35 excitat auditor studium, laudataque virtus 

crescit, et inmensum gloria calcar habet. 
hie mea cui recitem nisi flavis scripta Corallis, 

quasque alias gentes barbarus Hister habet ? 
sed quid solus agam, quaque infelicia perdam 
40 otia materia surripiamque diem ? 

nam quia nee vinum, nee me tenet alea fallax, 

per quae clam taciturn tempus abire solet, 
nee me, quod cuperem, si per fera bella liceret, 

oblectat cultu terra novata suo, 

1 venas excaecat] cum venas cecat 
* gressus " 


EX PONTO, IV. ii. 13-44 

a richer crop. To send verse to such a one were to 
add leaves to the forest : this has caused my delay, 
Severus. Yet my talent does not answer the call as 
of old, for I am furrowing a barren shore with an 
ineffective plough. Surely just as silt clogs the veins 
in springs and the outraged water halts in the choked 
fountain, so my mind has been injured by the silt of 
misfortune, and my verse flows with a scantier vein. 
If anyone had set in this land Homer himself, let me 
assure you, even he would have become a Getan. 
Pardon one who confesses, but in my pursuit I have 
relaxed the rein, my fingers rarely trace a letter. 
That inspired impulse, the nurse of poets' thoughts, 
which once was mine, is gone. My Muse scarce 
takes her part, and when I have taken up my tablets 
scarce does she lay upon them an inert hand, almost 
under coercion. I have little pleasure, or none at all, 
in writing, no zest in joining words to metre, whether 
it is that I have so reaped from it no profit that this 
very thing is the source of my misfortune, or that 
making rhythmic gestures in the dark and composing 
a poem which you may read to nobody are one and 
the same thing. A hearer rouses zeal, excellence 
increases with praise, and renown possesses a mighty 
spur. In this place who is there to whom I can read 
my compositions except the yellow-haired Coralli, or 
the other tribes of the wild Hister ? But what shall 
I do in my loneliness, with what occupation shall I 
pass my ill-starred leisure and beguile the day ? 
For since neither wine nor treacherous dice attract 
me, which oft cause time to steal quietly away, nor 
although I should like it if fierce war permitted 
can I take pleasure in renewing the earth by cultiva- 



46 quid, nisi Pierides, solacia frigida, restant, 
non bene de nobis quae meruere deae ? 
at tu, cui bibitur felicius Aouius fons, 

utiliter studium quod tibi cedit ama, 
sacraque Musarum merito cole, quodque legamus, 
CO hue aliquod curae mittc recentis opus. 


Conquerar, an taceam ? ponam sine nomine crimen, 

an notum qui sis omnibus esse velim ? 
nomine non utar, ne commendere querella, 

quaeraturque tibi carmine fama meo. 
5 dum mea puppis erat valida fundata carina, 

qui mccum velles currere, primus eras, 
nunc, quia contraxit vultum Fortuna, recedis, 

auxilio postquam scis opus esse tuo. 
dissimulas etiam, nee me vis nosse videri, 
10 quisque sit, audito nomine, Naso, rogas. 
ille ego sum, quamquam non vis audire, vetusta 

paene puer puero iunctus amicitia : 
ille ego, qui primus tua seria nosse solebam 

et tibi iucundis primus ad esse iocis : 
15 ille ego convictor densoque domesticus usu, 

ille ego iudiciis unica Musa tuis. 
ille ego sum, qui nunc an vivam, perfide, nescis, 

cura tibi de quo quaerere nulla fuit. 
sive fui numquam carus, simulasse fateris : 
20 seu non fingebas, inveniere levis. 

aut age, die aliquam, quae te mutaverit, iram : 

nam nisi iusta tua est, iusta querella mea est. 

1 Since Severus wrote epics on contemporary themes (se< 
Index), it is not improbable that he had received somi 
concrete reward. 


EX PONTO, IV. IT. 45 in. 22 

tion, what remains except the Pierians, a cold solace, 
the goddesses who have not deserved well of me ? 
But you, who quaff more happily the Aonian spring, 
continue your love for the pursuit which yields you 
profit ; x worship as is right the cult of the Muses 
and for my reading send hither some work over which 
you have recently toiled. 


Complaint or silence ? Shall I make a nameless 
charge, o^ should I wish all to know who you are ? 
I will not employ your name lest my complaint bring 
you favour and through my verse you win renown. 

5 As long as my bark rested firmly upon its keel 
among all who wished to sail with me you were first. 
Now that Fortune has frowned you withdraw upon 
discovering that your assistance is needed. You 
play the dissembler, too, and wish not to be thought 
to know me ; when you hear the name you ask who 
Naso is ! 'Tis I, although you will not hear it, who 
have been united to you in friendship almost boy 
with boy ; 'tis I who used first to hear your serious 
thoughts, first to listen to your pleasant jests ; 'tis 
I who lived in close union with you in the same 
household ; 'tis I who in your judgment was the one 
and only Muse ; 'tis I of whom you know not, 
traitor, whether I am now alive, about whom you 
have been at no pains to inquire. If I was never 
dear to you, you confess pretence ; if you were not 
feigning, you will be proved faithless. Or else come 
now, tell me of some reason for anger that has altered 
you ; for if your complaint is not just, then mine is 



quod te nunc crimen similem l vetat esse priori ? 

an crimen, coepi quod miser esse, vocas ? 
25 si mihi rebus opem nullam factisque ferebas, 

venisset verbis charta notata tribus. 
vix equidem credo, sed et 2 insultare iacenti 

te mihi nee verbis parcere fama refert. 
quid facis, a ! demens ? cur, si Fortuna recedat, 8 
30 naufragio lacrimas eripis ipse tuo ? 

haec dea non stabili, quam sit levis, orbe fatetur, 

quae summum dubio sub pede semper habet. 
quolibet est folio, quavis incertior aura : 

par illi levitas, improbe, sola tua est. 
35 omnia sunt hominum tenui pendentia filo, 4 

et subito casu quae valuere, ruunt. 
divitis audita est cui non opulentia Croesi ? 

nempe tamen vitam captus ab hoste tulit. 
ille Syracosia modo formidatus in urbe 
40 vix humili duram reppulit arte famem. 
quid fuerat Magno maius ? tamen ille rogavit 

summissa fugiens voce clientis opem. 
cuique viro totus terrarum paruit orbis, 

45 ille lugurthino clarus Cimbroque triumpho, 

quo victrix totiens consule Roma fuit, 

in caeno Marius iacuit cannaque palustri, 

pertulit et tanto multa pudenda viro. 

1 quae te consimilem res nunc (non) 

2 sed et] subito 8 recedit : recedat r 

4 om. optimi codd. 

1 Fortuna was often depicted standing on a wheel. 
1 Dionysius, the tyrant, who was expelled and kept school 
at Corinth. 


EX PONTO, IV. in. 23-48 

just. What crime of mine prevents you from being 
what you once were ? Or do you term it a crime that 
I have become unfortunate ? If you brought me no 
aid in fact, in deeds, you might have sent me three 
words on a sheet of paper. I can scarce believe it 
but rumour says that you are even insulting me in 
my fall, that you do not spare words. Ah, why do 
you do this, madman ? Why, in case Fortune should 
leave you, do you thus rob your own shipwreck of 
tears ? She is a goddess who admits by her un- 
steady wheel her own fickleness ; she always has its 
crest beneath her swaying foot. 1 She is less stable 
than any leaf, than any breeze ; to match her fickle- 
ness, base man, there is only yours ! 

35 All human affairs hang by a slender thread ; 
chance on a sudden brings to ruin what once was 
strong. Who has not heard of Croesus's wealth ? 
Yet of a truth he was captured and received his life 
from an enemy. He 2 who but now was dreaded in 
the city of Syracuse, scarce kept hunger at bay by a 
lowly calling. What was mightier than Magnus 3 ? 
Yet in his flight he asked with humble voice a client's 
aid. The man whom the whole world obeyed . . 

4 he who was famed for 

his triumphs over Jugurtha and the Cimbri, under 
whom as consul Rome was so often victorious, lay, 
Marius though he was, in the slime and marsh 
grass, enduring many things shameful for so great 
a man. 

8 Pompey. After the battle of Pharsalus he fled to 
Egypt where he was treacherously slain. 

4 V. 44 is omitted by the best manuscripts. In the later 
ones appears the spurious line : indigus effectus omnibus ipse 
mag Is (" himself came to feel need more than any "). 

2F 433 


ludit in humanis divina potentia rebus, 
50 et certam praesens vix habet x hora fidem. 
" litus ad Euxinum " si quis mihi diceret " ibis, 

et metues, arcu ne feriare Getae," 
" i, bibe " dixissem " purgantes pectora sucos, 

quidquid et in tota nascitur Anticyra." 
55 sum tamen haec passus : nee, si mortalia possem, 

et summi poteram tela cavere dei. 
tu quoque fac timeas, et quae tibi laeta videntur 

dum loqueris, fieri tristia posse puta. 


Nulla dies adeo est australibus umida nimbis, 

non intermissis ut fluat imber aquis. 
nee sterilis locus ullus ita est, ut non sit in illo 

mixta fere duris utilis herba rubis. 
5 nil adeo fortuna gravis miserabile fecit, 

ut minuant nulla gaudia parte malum. 
ecce domo patriaque carens oculisque meorura, 

naufragus in Getici litoris actus aquas, 
qua tamen inveni vultuin diflfundere causa 
10 possim, 2 fortunae nee meminisse meae. 
nam mihi, cum fulva solus 3 spatiarer harena, 

visa est a tergo pinna dedisse sonum. 
respicio, nee erat corpus, quod cernere possem, 

verba tamen sunt haec aure recepta mea : 
15 u en ego laetarum venio tibi nuntia rerum 

Fama, per inmensas aere lapsa vias. 
consule Pompeio, quo non tibi carior alter, 

candidus et felix proximus annus erit." 

1 habet] feret * possem * solus] tristls 


EX PONTO, IV. in. 49 iv. 18 

49 Divine power plays with human affairs, and sure 
trust can scarce be placed in the present hour. If 
anybody had said to me, " You shall go to the 
Euxine shore and you shall fear wounds from a Getic 
bow," I would have said, " Go, drink a potion that 
clears the brain everything that Anticyra x pro- 
duces." Yet have I suffered this. Though I might 
have guarded against the weapons of mortals, yet I 
could not protect myself against those of a supreme 
god. See that you too feel afraid and remember 
that what seems happiness to you has power, while 
you speak, to change into sorrow. 


No day is so drenching wet from the southern 
clouds that the rain pours in uninterrupted flood. 
No place is so barren that it has no useful plant, oft- 
times intermixed with the tough brambles. Heavy 
fortune has rendered nothing so wretched that no 
joys lessen in some part its sorrow. Behold how I, 
reft from home and country and the sight of my own, 
driven like a wreck to the waters of the Getic land, 
have yet found means to brighten my face and to 
forget my fate. For as I strolled alone upon the 
yellow sand, behind me, it seemed, wings rustled. 
I looked back ; there was no form that I could see, 
but my ear caught these words, " Lo, I come to bear 
thee a message of gladness ; I am Report, and I have 
flown through measureless distances of air. Through 
the consulship of Pompey, who is dearer to you than 
any other, the coming year will be bright and blessed." 

1 Anticyra produced an abundance of hellebore which 
was much used as a cure for insanity. 



dixit, et ut laeto Pontum rumore replevit, 
20 ad gentes alias hinc dea vertit iter. 
at mihi dilapsis inter nova gaudia curis 

excidit asperitas huius iniqua loci, 
ergo ubi, lane biceps, longum reseraveris annum, 

pulsus et a sacro mense December erit, 
25 purpura Pompeium summi velabit honoris, 

ne titulis quicquam debeat ille suis. 
cernere iam videor rumpi paene atria turba, 

et populum laedi deficiente loco, 
templaque Tarpeiae primum tibi sedis adiri, 
30 et fieri faciles in tua vota deos ; 

colla boves niveos certae praebere securi, 

quos aluit campis herba Falisca suis : 
cumque deos omnes, tune hos 1 inpensius, aequos 

esse tibi cupias, cum love Caesar erunt. 
35 curia te excipiet, patresque e more vocati 

intendent aures ad tua verba suas. 
hos ubi facundo tua vox hilaraverit ore, 

utque solet, tulerit prospera verba dies, 
egeris et meritas superis cum Caesare grates 
40 (qui causam, facias cur ita saepe, dabit), 
inde domum repetes to to comitante senatu, 

officium populi vix capiente domo. 
me miserum, turba quod non ego cernar in ilia, 

nee poterunt istis lumina nostra frui ! 
45 quod licet, 2 absentem qua possum mente videbo : 
aspiciet vultus consulis ilia sui. 

1 quos : hos ~ 
2 qualibet unde quamlibet Heinsius 

1 January, in which the magistrates entered on their 


EX PONTO, IV. iv. 19-46 

She spoke, and having filled the Pontus with the glad 
tidings the goddess turned her course to other 
peoples. But for me care fell away amidst my new 
joys, the cruel harshness of this land vanished. And 
so, two-faced Janus, when thou hast unsealed the 
long year, when December is driven out by the holy 
month, 1 Pompey will assume the purple of highest 
office that to his titles of honour he may leave no 
debt undischarged. 2 Already I seem to behold your 
halls almost bursting with the crowd, the people 
bruised for lack of space, the temples of Tarpeia's 
abode 3 visited by you as your first act, the gods 
becoming propitious to your prayers, the snowy oxen 
which Falerii has nourished in her own meadows 
offering their throats to the unerring axe ; and while 
from all the gods you will earnestly seek favour, 
those of your more eager desire shall be Jupiter and 
Caesar. The senate-house will receive you and the 
fathers summoned in the wonted fashion will lend 
attentive ear to your words. When they have been 
delighted by the words that will fall from your 
eloquent lips, when according to custom the day 
shall offer words of good omen, and you have rendered 
due thanks to the gods above and to Caesar, who will 
give you cause to repeat them often, you will return 
home escorted by the whole senate, the house scarce 
finding room for the people's homage. Wretched 
am I that I shall not be seen in that throng, that my 
eyes will not be able to enjoy that sight ! But this 
I may do : in your absence I can see you in my 
mind ; that will behold the features of its loved 

a As if the series of offices were a score which Pompey 
would pay in full when he became consul. 
8 The Capitoline Hill. 



di faciant aliquo subeat tibi tempore nostrum 

nomen, et " heu " dicas " quid miser ille facit ? " 
haec tua pertulerit si quis mini verba, fatebor 
50 protinus exilium mollius esse meum. 


Ite, leves elegi, doctas ad consulis aures, 

verbaque honorato ferte legenda viro. 
longa via est, nee vos pedibus proceditis aequis, 

tectaque brumali sub nive terra latet. 
5 cum gelidam Thracen et opertum nubibus Haemum 

et maris lonii transieritis aquas, 
luce minus decima dominam venietis in urbem, 

ut festinatum non faciatis iter. 
protinus inde domus vobis Pompeia petatur : 
10 non est Augusto iunctior ulla foro. 

siquis, ut in populo, qui sitis et unde requiret, 

nomina decepta quaelibet aure ferat. 
ut sit enim tutum, sicut reor esse, fateri, 

verba minus certe ficta timoris habent. 
15 copia nee vobis nullo prohibente videndi 

consulis, ut limen contigeritis, erit. 
aut reget ille suos dicendo iura Quirites, 

conspicuum signis cum premet altus ebur : 
aut populi reditus positam componet ad has tarn, 
20 et minui magnae non sinet urbis opes : 
aut, ubi erunt patres in lulia templa vocati, 

de tanto dignis consule rebus aget : 
aut feret Augusto solitam natoque salutem, 

deque parum noto consulet officio. 

1 A spear was set up where the consul was letting con- 
tracts, etc. 


EX PONTO, IV. iv. 47 v. 24 

consul. May the gods grant that at some moment 
my name may come into your mind, that you may 
say," Alas ! what is that miserable man doing now ? " 
If such words of yours be reported to me by any, I 
shall at once confess that my exile is easier to bear. 


On ! light couplets, to the consul's learned ears, 
and bear a message for the honoured man to read. 
Long is the way, nor do you advance with even steps, 
and a mantle of winter snow conceals the land. 
Crossing frozen Thrace with Haemus hidden in 
clouds and the waters of the Ionian sea, on the tenth 
day or before you will reach the imperial city though 
you make no hurried journey. Forthwith then seek 
the house of Pompeius ; none is closer to the forum 
of Augustus. If any, as may happen in the crowd, 
asks who you are and whence you come, beguile his 
ear with any name you will. For even though it 
should be safe, as I think it is, to make confession, 
surely fictitious words involve less danger. Nor will 
you have the power unhindered to see the consul, 
even though you reach the threshold : either he will be 
ruling his citizens by the law's word while he sits high 
upon an ivory chair splendid with carving, or beside 
the implanted spear l he will be ordering the people's 
revenues, not allowing the wealth of the mighty 
city to suffer loss ; or when the fathers have been 
summoned to Julius's temple, he will be debating 
matters worthy of a great consul ; or he will be 
bringing to Augustus and his son the accustomed 
greeting, seeking advice about an unfamiliar duty. 



25 tempus ab his vacuum Caesar Germanicus omne 

auferet : a magnis hunc colit ille dels, 
cum tamen a turba rerum requieverit harum, 

ad vos mansuetas porriget ille manus, 
quidque parens ego vester agam fortasse requiret. 
30 talia vos illi reddere verba volo : 

" vivit adhuc vitamque tibi debere fatetur, 
quani prius a miti Caesare munus habet. 
te sibi, cum fugeret, memori solet ore referre 

barbariae tutas exhibuisse vias : 
35 sanguine Bistonium quod non tepefecerit ensem, 

effectum cura pectoris esse tui : 
addita praeterea vitae quoque multa tuendae 

munera, ne proprias attenuaret opes, 
pro quibus ut meritis referatur gratia, iurat 
40 se fore mancipii 1 tempus in omne tui. 
nam prius umbrosa carituros arbore montes, 

et freta velivolas non habitura rates, 
fluminaque in fontes cursu reditura supino, 

gratia quam meriti possit abire tui." 
45 haec ubi dixeritis, servet sua dona rogate. 
sic fuerit vestrae causa peracta viae. 


Quam legis, ex illis tibi venit epistula, Brute, 

Nasonem nolles in quibus esse locis. 
sed tu quod nolles, voluit miserabile fatum. 

ei mini ! plus illud quam tua vota valet. 
5 in Scythia nobis quinquennis Olympias acta est : 

iam tempus lustri transit in alterius. 
perstat enim fortuna tenax, votisque malignum 

opponit nostris insidiosa 2 pedem. 

1 mancipium . . . tuum f invidiosa 


EX PONTO, IV. v. 25 vi. 8 

All the time left from these offices Germanicus 
Caesar will claim : him he reverences next after the 
great gods. 

27 Yet when he finds rest from this crowd of affairs, 
he will extend to you his kindly hands, and he will 
ask perhaps how I, your parent, am faring. In such 
words as these I wish you to reply : " He still lives, 
confessing that he owes the life to you which first 
he holds as the gift of Caesar's mercy. He is wont 
to say with grateful lips that upon his journey to 
exile you made the ways of the barbarian world safe 
for him : that his blood stained no Bistonian sword 
was owing to your heartfelt care ; that you gave him 
besides many gifts to preserve his life that his own 
resources might not be impaired. To thank you for 
these services he swears to be your slave for all time. 
For the mountains will sooner be stripped of their 
shady trees and the seas of their sailing ships, the 
rivers will turn and flow backward to their sources 
before he can cease to be grateful for your service." 

46 When you have spoken thus, ask him to preserve 
his own gift ; so will the purpose of your journey be 


The letter that you are reading, Brutus, 1 has come 
from that land in which you would not wish Naso to 
be. Yet what you would not wish, wretched fate 
has willed for me. Alas ! fate is stronger than your 
prayers. In Scythia I have passed the five years of 
an Olympiad ; the time is now passing to a second 
lustrum. For obstinate fortune persists and craftily 
opposes a malicious foot to my desires. Thou, 

1 A close friend of Ovid's otherwise unknown, c/. i. 1. 



certus eras pro me, Fabiae laus, Maxime, gentis, 
10 numen ad Augustum supplice voce loqui. 

occidis ante preces, causamque ego, Maxime, mortis 

(nee fuero tanti) me reor esse tuae. 
iam timeo nostram cuiquam mandare salutem : 

ipsum morte tua concidit auxilium. 
15 coeperat Augustus deceptae ignoscere culpae : 

spem nostram terras deseruitque simul. 
quale tamen potui, de caelite, Brute, recenti 

vestra procul positus carmen in ora dedi. 
quae prosit pietas utmam mihi, sitque malorum 
20 iam modus et sacrae mitior ira domus. 
te quoque idem liquido possum iurare precari, 

o mini non dubia cognite Brute nota. 
nam cum praestiteris verum mihi semper amorem, 

hie tamen adverse tempore crevit amor, 
25 quique tuas pariter lacrimas nostrasque videret, 

passuros poenam crederet esse duos, 
lenem te miscris genuit natura, nee ulli 

mitius ingenium, quam tibi, Brute, dedit : 
ut qui quid valeas ignoret Marte forensi, 
30 posse tuo peragi vix putet ore reos. 

scilicet eiusdem est, quamvis pugnare videntur, 

supplicibus facilem, sontibus esse truccm. 
cum tibi suscepta est legis vindicta severae, 
verba velut tinctu l singula virus habent. 
35 hostibus eveniat quam sis violentus in armis 
sentire et linguae tela subire tuae. 

1 tinctum corr. Ehwald 

1 Paullus Fabius Maximus (Introd. p. xii). 

2 This poem on the apotheosis of Augustus (cf. also 
iv. 9. 131) is not extant. Augustus died A.D. 14, a few 

EX PONTO, IV. vi. 9-36 

Maximus, 1 glory of the Fabian race, hadst resolved to 
appeal for me to the deity of Augustus with the voice 
of a suppliant. Thou didst die before the prayer was 
uttered, and I count myself, Maximus though I am 
not worth so much the cause of thy death. Now I 
fear to entrust my salvation to any ; help itself has 
perished with thy death. 

15 Augustus had begun to pardon the fault I com- 
mitted in error ; my hopes at once and the world he 
left desolate. Yet from my distant abode I sent for 
your reading a poem such poem as I could, Brutus, 
about the new god. 2 May this act of reverence aid 
me, let there now be an end to my sorrows, a gentler 
wrath on the part of the sacred household. 1 can 
swear with a clear conscience that you too utter the 
same prayer, Brutus you whom I know from 
indubitable proof. For although you have ever 
granted me sincere love, yet this love has increased 
in my time of adversity. One who saw your tears 
that matched with mine would have believed that 
both were about to suffer punishment. Nature bore 
you kind to the wretched ; to none, Brutus, has she 
given a kinder heart, so that he who knows not your 
power in the wars of the forum would scarce suppose 
that your lips can prosecute defendants. In truth 
the same man, although such qualities seem to battle 
with each other, is able to be gentle with suppliants, 
but harsh to the guilty. When you have taken it 
upon yourself to champion the strict law, every word 
is as though it were steeped in poison. May it 
befall enemies to feel how impetuous you are in arms, 
to suffer the missiles of your tongue ! On these you 

months after Paulus Fabius Maximus. The present letter, 
therefore, may be dated in the autumn or winter, A.D. 14-15. 



quae tibi tarn tenui cura limantur, ut omnes 

istius ingenium corporis esse negent. 
at si quern laedi Fortuna cernis iniqua, 
40 mollior est animo femina nulla tuo. 

hoc ego praecipue sensi, cum magna meorum 

notiticim pars est infitiata rnei. 
inmemor illorum, vestri non inmemor umquam, 

qui mala solliciti nostra levatis, cro. 
45 et prius hie nimium nobis conterminus Hister 

in caput Euxino de mare vertet iter, 
utque Thyesteae redeant si tempora mensae, 

Solis ad Eoas currus agetur aquas, 
quam quisquam vcstrum, qui me doluistis ademptum, 
60 arguat ingratum non meminisse sui. 


Missus es Euxinas quoniam, Vestalis, ad undas, 

ut positis reddas iura sub axe locis, 
aspicis en praesens, quali iaccamus in arvo, 

nee me testis eris falsa solere queri. 
5 accedet voci per te non irrita nostrae, 

Alpinis iuvenis regibus orte, fides, 
ipse vides certe glacie concrescere Pontum, 

ipse vides rigido stantia vina gelu ; 
ipse vides, onerata fcrox ut ducat lazyx 
10 per medias Histri plaustra bubulcus aquas, 
aspicis et mitti sub adunco toxica ferro, 

et telum causas mortis habere duas. 
atque utinam pars haec tantum spectata fuisset, 

non etiam proprio cognita Marte tibi ! 

1 The feast at which the flesh of Thyestes 1 sons was served 
to him by Atreus. 


EX PONTO, IV. vi. 37 vn. 14 

use the file with such extreme care that none would 
recognize in them your real nature. But if you see 
any injured by unjust Fortune, no woman is more 
tender than your heart. This I felt above all when 
the most of my friends denied knowledge of me. I 
shall forget them, but you I shall never forget, who 
lighten the woes of my trouble. Sooner shall the 
Hister, all too near me, turn his march back from 
the Euxine sea towards its source and, as if the age 
of Thyestean banquets 1 should return, the chariot of 
the sun shall sooner be driven towards the eastern 
waters than that any one of you who have mourned 
my exile shall call me a forgetful ingrate. 


Seeing that you have been sent to the Euxine 
waters, Vestalis, to dispense justice to those lands 
which lie beneath the pole, you .behold face to face in 
what manner of country I am cast and you will bear 
witness that I am not wont to utter false complaints. 
My words will receive through you, young scion of 
Alpine kings, no idle support. You yourself see the 
Pontus stiffen with ice, you yourself see the wine 
standing rigid with the frost ; you yourself see how 
the fierce lazygian herdsman guides his loaded wagon 
over the middle of Hister 's waters. You behold how 
poison is hurled on the barbed steel and the missile 
possesses two causes of death. And would that this 
region had merely met your sight, that you had 
not also experienced it, in a battle of your own ! 



16 tenditur l ad primum per densa pericula pilum, 

contigit ex merito qui tibi nuper honor, 
sit licet hie titulus plenus 2 tibi fructibus, ingens 

ipsa tamen virtus ordine maior erit. 
non negat hoc Hister, cuius tua dextera quondam 
20 purdceam Getico sanguine fecit aquam. 
non negat Aegisos, quae te subeunte recepta 

sensit in ingenio nil opis esse loci, 
nam, dubium positu melius defensa manune, 

urbs erat in summo nubibus aequa iugo. 
25 Sithonio regi ferus interceperat illam 

hostis et ereptas victor habebat opes, 
donee fluminea devecta Vitellius unda 

intulit exposito milite signa Getis. 
at tibi, progenies alti fortissima Donni, 
30 venit in adversos impetus ire viros. 

nee mora, conspicuus longe fulgentibus armis, 

fortia ne possint facta latere caves, 
ingentique .gradu contra ferrumque locumque 

saxaque brumali grandine plura subis. 
35 nee te missa super iaculorum turba moratur, 

nee quae vipereo tela cruore madent. 
spicula cum pictis haerent in casside pinnis, 

parsque fere scuti vulnere nulla vacat. 
nee corpus cunctos feliciter effugit ictus : 
40 sed minor est acri laudis amore dolor, 
talis apud Troiam Danais pro navibus Aiax 

dicitur Hectoreas sustinuisse faces, 
ut propius ventum est admotaque dextera dextrae, 

resque fero potuit comminus ense geri, 

1 tenditis corr. Owen plenis 


EX PONTO, IV. vii. 

Through crowding perils is a way won to the first 
rank, 1 a deserved honour which has recently fallen 
to your lot. Even though this honour be filled with 
rewards for you, yet your great worth will be greater 
than your rank. This the Hister acknowledges, 
whose water your hand once empurpled with Getic 
blood. Aegisos acknowledges it, which retaken at 
your approach, came to know that the nature of its 
site availed nothing. For 'tis uncertain whether it 
was better defended by its situation or by force 
the city that towered to the clouds upon a lofty ridge. 
A fierce foe had cut it off from the Sithonian king, 
and in victory held its captured treasure, until 
Vitellius, borne adown the stream, disembarked his 
soldiers and advanced his standards against the 
Getae. But you, bravest descendant of lofty 
Donnus, were impelled to rush upon the confronting 
foe. At once far seen in glittering arms, you take 
heed that brave acts may not be hidden ; with mighty 
stride you charge the steel, the hill, and stones 
greater in number than winter's hail. Neither the 
crowding missiles hurled from above halt you nor 
those steeped in viper's blood. Arrows with painted 
feathers cling to your helmet, scarce any part of your 
shield lacks a wound. Your body has not the luck 
to escape every stroke, but your pain is less than your 
keen love of glory. Such at Troy was Danaan Ajax 
when, they say, in defence of the Grecian ships he 
bore the brunt of Hector's firebrands. When you 
came nearer, hand meeting hand, and the battle 
could be fought at close quarters with the fierce 

1 The primus p'dus was the centurion of highest rank in 
each legion. 



45 dicere difficile est quid Mars tuus egerit illic, 

quotque neci dederis quosque quibusque modis. 
ense tuo factos calcabas victor acervos, 

inposi toque Getes sub pede multus erat. 
pugnat ad exemplum primi minor ordine pili, 
60 multaque fert miles vulnera, multa facit. 
sed tantum virtus alios tua praeterit omnes, 

ante citos quantum Pegasus ibit l equos. 
vincitur Aegisos, testataque tempus in omne 

sunt tua, Vestalis, carmine facta meo. 


Littera sera quidem, studiis exculte Suilli, 

hue tua pervenit, sed mihi grata tamen, 
qua, pia si possit superos lenire rogando 

gratia, laturum te mihi dicis opem. 
6 ut iam nil praestes, animi sum factus amici 

debitor, et meritum velle iuvare voco. 
impetus iste tuus longum modo duret in aevum, 

neve malis pietas sit tua lassa meis. 

ius aliquod faciunt adfinia vincula nobis, 

10 quae semper maneant inlabefacta precor. 

nam tibi quae coniunx, eadem mihi filia paene est, 

et quae te generurn, me vocat ilia virum. 
ei mihi, si lectis vultum tu versibus istis 

ducis et adfinem te pudet esse meum ! 
15 at nihil hie dignum poteris reperire pudore 

praeter Fortunam, quae mihi caeca fuit. 
seu genus excutias, equites ab origine prima 

usque per innumeros inveniemur avos : 

1 ibat 

EX PONTO, IV. vn. 45 vni. 18 

sword, 'tis hard to tell of your martial deeds there, 
how many you gave to death, who they were and 
how they fell. Upon heaps of dead, the work of 
your sword, you trod in victory ; many a Getan lay 
beneath your planted foot. The soldiers of lesser 
rank fought after the model of their centurion, 
enduring many wounds, giving many. But your 
valour as far surpassed all others as Pegasus distances 
a swift steed. Aegisos is conquered, arid for all time, 
Vestalis, my song bears witness to your deeds. 


Your letter, accomplished Suillius, has been late in 
reaching me, yet has it brought me pleasure. There- 
in you say that so far as friendly loyalty can soften 
the gods by petition you will bring me aid. Though 
you should give me nothing more, your friendly pur- 
pose has placed rne in your debt, for I term the will 
to aid a service. Let only that impulse of yours 
endure for long ages and let not your loyalty be worn 
out by my misfortunes. Some claim our bonds of 
kinship make and 1 pray that these may ever last 
un weakened. For she who is your wife is almost my 
daughter ; l she who calls you son-in-law, calls me 
husband. Woe is me if when you read these verses 
you frown and feel shame that you are my kinsman ! 
Yet you will be able to discover in me nothing to 
shame you save only Fortune, who to me has proved 
blind. If you examine our lineage, we shall be found 
knights from our earliest origins all through a line 

1 Ovid's step-daughter Perilla, cf. T. iii. 7. 

2 Q 4 49 


sive veils qui sint mores inquirere nostri, 
20 errorem misero detrahe, labe carent. 
tu modo si quid agi sperabis posse precando, 

quos colis, exora supplice voce deos. 
di tibi sunt 1 Caesar iuvenis. tua numina placa. 

hac certe nulla est notior ara tibi. 
25 non sinit ilia sui vanas antistitis umquam 

esse preces : nostris hinc pete rebus opem. 
quamlibet exigua si nos ea iuverit aura, 

obruta de mediis cumba resurget aquis. 
tune ego tura feram rapidis sollemnia flammis, 
30 et valeant quantum numina testis ero. 

nee tibi de Pario statuam, Germanice, templum 

marmore : carpsit opes ilia ruina meas. 
templa domus facient vobis urbesque beatae ; 

Naso suis opibus, carmine gratus erit. 
35 parva quidem fateor pro magnis munera reddi, 

cum pro concessa verba salute damus. 
sed qui, quam potuit, dat maxima, gratus abunde est, 

et finem pietas contigit ilia suum. 
nee quae de parva pauper dis libat acerra 
40 tura minus grandi quam data lance valent. 
agnaque tarn lactens quam gramine pasta Falisco 

victima Tarpeios inficit icta focos. 
nee tamen officio vatum per carmina facto 

principibus res est aptior ulla viris. 
45 carmina vestrarum peragunt praeconia laudum, 

neve sit actorum fama caduca cavent. 
carmine fit vivax virtus, expersque sepulchri 

notitiam serae posteritatis habet. 
tabida consumit ferrum lapidemque vetustas, 
50 nullaque res maius tempore robur habet. 

\ sint 

1 Germanicus. 

EX PONTO, IV. vin. 19-50 

of countless ancestors, or if you wish to ask what is 
my character, remove my blunder and my character 
is spotless. 

21 Do you, if you hope that anything can be accom- 
plished by petition, beseech with a suppliant's prayer 
the gods you worship. Your gods are the young 
Caesar. 1 Propitiate your divinity. No altar surely 
is more familiar to you than this. That altar never 
permits the supplications of its priest to be in vain : 
seek from it succour for my fate. No matter how 
slight the breeze with which it aids me, my bark 
now o'erwhelmed will rise once more from the midst 
of the waters. Then will I offer to the devouring 
flames holy incense bearing witness to the power of 
the divinity. I will rear no temple of Parian marble 
for thee, Germanicus ; that disaster tore away my 
wealth ; temples will be built for thee and thine by 
rich houses and cities ; Naso will show gratitude 
with verse, his only wealth. Poor indeed, I con- 
fess, is the gift that is rendered for great service, 
if I give words in return for the grant of salvation. 
But he who gives his utmost, is lavishly grateful and 
that loyal service has reached its goal. The incense 
offered by the poor man from his humble censer has 
not less effect than that given from a huge platter. 
The nursling lamb as well as the victim fed on 
Faliscan grass dyes in sacrifice the Tarpeian altar. 
Yet than the proffered tribute of poets* verse naught 
else more befits the leaders of men. Verse heralds 
abroad your praises and sees to it that the glory of 
your deeds falls not to the ground. By verse virtue 
lives on and, avoiding the tomb, becomes known to 
late posterity. Wasting time consumes both steel 
and stone ; no thing has a strength greater than that 



scripta ferunt annos. scriptis Agamemnona nosti, 

et quisquis contra vel simul arma tulit. 
quis Thebas septemque duces sine carmine nosset, 

et quicquid post haec, quidquid et ante fuit ? 
55 di quoque carminibus, si fas est dicere, fiunt, 

tantaque maiestas ore canentis eget. 
siV Chaos ex ilia naturae mole prioris 

digestum partes scimus habere suas : 
sic adfectantes caelestia regna Gigantes 
GO ad Styga nimbifero vindicis igne datos : 
sic victor laudem supcratis Liber ab Indis, 

Alcides capta traxit ab Oeehalia. 
et modo, Caesar, avum, quern virtus addidit astris, 

sacrarunt aliqua carmina parte tuum. 
65 siquid adhuc igitur vivi, Germanice, nostro 

restat in ingenio, servict omne tibi. 
non poles officium vatis contemnere vates : 

iudicio pretium res habet ista tuo. 
quod nisi te nomen tantum ad maiora vocasset, 
70 gloria Pieridum sunima luturus eras. 

sed dare materiam nobis quam carmina mains : 

nee tamcn ex toto deserere ilia poles. 
nim modo bella geris, mmieris modo verba coerces, 

quodque aliis opus est, hoc tibi lusus erit. 
75 utque nee ad citharam nee ad arcum segnis Apollo 


sed venit ad sacras nervus uterque manus, 
sic tibi nee docti desunt nee principis artes, 
rnixta sed est ariimo cum love Musa tuo. 
quae quoniam nee nos unda summovit ab ilia, 
80 ungula Gorgonci quam cava fecit equi, 

1 Hercules. 2 Gernianirus dabblt'd in poetry. 

8 Hippocrene (on Helicon), created by the hoof-beat of 


EX PONTO, IV. vin. 51-80 

of time. But writing endures the years. Through 
writing you know Agamemnon and everyone who 
bore arms with him or against him. Who would 
know of Thebes and the seven leaders, were it not 
for verse, or of all that went before and after ? Even 
the gods, if 'tis right to say this, are created by verse ; 
their mighty majesty needs the bard's voice. By 
this it is that we know that Chaos became separated 
from that mass of earlier nature and took on his 
divisions ; by this that the Giants aiming at the 
sovereignty of heaven were hurled to the Styx by the 
cloud-bearing thunderbolt of the avenger ; by this 
that victorious Liber won renown from the conquering 
of the Indies, Alcides 1 from the capture of Oechalia. 
And but now, O Caesar, thy grandsire, whom his 
virtue has sent to the starry heaven, owed in some 
measure his sanctity to verse. If there be still any 
life, Gerrnanicus, in my genius, it shall wholly serve 
thee. Thou canst not as a poet 2 despise the tribute 
of a poet, for that has a value in thy judgment. 
Wherefore if a great name had not called thee to 
greater things, thou wert destined to be the supreme 
glory of the Pierians. But 'tis a greater thing to 
furnish themes for us than thyself to compose ; yet 
verse thou canst not wholly leave neglected. Now 
thou art waging war, now to numbers thou art con- 
fining words ; what is toil for others will for thee be 
play. Just as Apollo is no sluggard either with lyre 
or bow but either string is obedient to his sacred 
hands, so thou lackcst the arts neither of the scholar 
nor the prince, but in thy mind the Muse and Jupiter 
are wedded. And since the Muse has not removed 
me from that spring 3 which the hollow hoof of the 
Gorgonean steed created, may it profit me and aid 



prosit opemque ferat communia sacra tueri, 

atque isdem studiis inposuisse manum : 
litora pellitis nimium subiecta Corallis 

ut tandem saevos effugiamque Getas : 
85 clausaque si misero patria est, ut ponar in ullo, 1 

qui minus Ausonia distet 2 ab urbe, loco, 
unde tuas possim laudes celebrare recentes 

magnaque quam minima facta referre mora. 
tangat ut hoc votum caelestia, care Suilli, 
90 numina, pro socero paene precare tuo. 


Unde licet, non unde iuvat, Graecine, salutem 

mittit ab Euxinis hanc tibi Naso vadis, 
missaque di faciant Auroram occurrat ad illam, 

bis senos fasces quae tibi prima dabit : 
5 ut, quoniam sine me tanges Capitolia consul 

ct fiam turbae pars ego nulla tuae, 
in domini subeat partes et praestet amici 

officium iusso littera nostra die. 
atque ego si fatis genitus melioribus essem 
10 et mea sincero curreret axe rota, 

quo mine nostra manus per scriptum fungitur, esset 

lingua salutandi munere functa tui, 
gratatusque darem cum dulcibus oscula verbis, 
nee minus ille meus quam tuus esset honor. 
16 ilia, confiteor, sic essem luce superbus, 

ut caperet fastus vix domus ulla meos : 
dumque latus sancti cingit tibi turba senatus, 
consulis ante pedes ire iuberer eques ; 

1 illo : ullo c 2 distat : distet r 

1 The consulship. 

EX PONTO, IV. vin. 81 ix. 18 

me that I maintain the same rites as thyself, that 
I have set my hand to the same pursuit. This shore 
all too exposed to the skin-clad Cor alii and the savage 
Getae may I at last escape it ; and if my country is 
closed against such a wretch, may I be set in any 
place less distant than this from the Ausonian city, 
whence I can celebrate thy fresh praises and relate 
thy mighty deeds with least delay. 

89 That this petition, dear Suillius, may touch the 
heavenly powers, utter a prayer for him who is all 
but the father of thy wife. 


Whence he may, not whence he would, Graecinus, 
this greeting Naso sends you from the Euxine waters. 
'Tis sent, and the gods grant that it may come to 
you on that dawn which shall first bring to you the 
twice six fasces. For since without my presence you 
will reach the Capitol as consul, and I shall form no 
part of your retinue, let my missive take its master's 
place and bestow the homage of a friend on the 
appointed day. Had I been born with a better fate, 
did my wheels run on a true axle, that duty of 
greeting which my hand now performs in writing 
my tongue would have performed ; and along with 
pleasant words of congratulation I should give you 
kisses, nor would that honour l be less mine than yours. 
On that day, I confess, I should be so proud that 
scarce any house would contain my haughtiness 
While the throng of holy senators surrounded you, 
I as a knight would be bidden to go before you, and 



et quamquam cuperem semper tibi proximus esse, 
20 gauderem lateris non locum, 
nee querulus, turba quam vis eliderer, essem : 

sed foret a populo turn mihi dulce premi. 
aspicerem gaudens, quantus foret agminis ordo, 

densaque quam longum turba teneret iter. 
25 quoque magis noris, quam me vulgaria tangant, 

spectarem, qualis purpura te tegeret. 
signa quoque in sella nossem formata curuli 

et totum Numidae sculptile dentis opus, 
at cum Tarpeias esses deductus in arces, 
30 dum caderet iussu victima sacra tuo, 

me quoque secreto grates sibi magnus agentem 

audisset media qui sedet aede deus ; 
turaque mente rnagis plena quam lance dedisscm, 

ter quater imperii laetus honore tui. 
35 hie ego praesentes inter numerarer arnicos, 

mitia ius urbis ] si modo fata darent, 
quaeque mihi sola capitur nunc mente voluptas, 

tune oculis etiam percipienda foret. 
non ita caelitibus visum est, et forsitan aequis : 
40 nam quid me poenae causa negata in vet ? 
mente tamen, quae sola loco non exulat, utar, 

praetextam fasces aspiciamque tuos. 
liaec modo te populo reddentem iura videbit, 

et se secreto 2 finget adesse tuis : 
4=5 nunc longi reditus hastae supponere lustri 

credet, et exacta cuncta locare fide : 
nunc facere in medio facundum verba senatu, 

publica quaerentem quid petat utilitas : 

1 verbis vel si nobis ius corr. Itali 
2 seoretis corr&r/, cf. v. 31 

1 Sec Ex P. iv. 5. 19 note. 

EX PONTO, IV. ix. 19-48 

though I should be very eager to be always near you, 
I should rejoice to have no place at your side. Nor 
should I complain, though I were bruised by the 
crowd ; at such time 'twere pleasant to feel the crush 
of the populace. I should behold with joy the long 
line of the procession and the dense throng on its 
long route. And that you may know how trivial 
things interest me 1 should examine the texture of 
your mantling purple. I should inspect even the 
outline of the figures on your curule chair all the 
carved work of Nurnidian ivory. And after you had 
been escorted to the Tarpeian rock, while the con- 
secrated victim was falling at your command, me 
also as I rendered him thanks in secret would the 
mighty god have heard who is enthroned in the 
middle of the temple. I would have offered incense 
with full heart rather than a full censer, thrice and 
four times rejoicing in your sovereign honour. There 
should 1 be counted among your attending friends if 
only kindly fate granted me of right to be present 
in the city, and the pleasure which now only my 
mind can catch would then be wholly grasped by my 
eyes also. 

30 Not so have the gods decided, and perhaps they 
are just. For how can the denial of the cause of my 
punishment aid me ? Yet will I use my mind, which 
alone is not exiled, to behold your robe and fasces. 
This shall see you now dispensing justice to the 
people, and shall fancy itself present unseen at your 
actions ; now it shall believe that you are bringing 
beneath the spear 1 the revenues of the long lustrum 
and contracting for everything \Nith minute good 
faith ; now that you are uttering eloquent words 
before the senate, seeking what the interest of the 



mine pro Caesaribus superis decernere grates, 
60 albave opimorum colla ferire bourn. 

atque utinam, cum iam fueris potiora precatus, 

ut mihi placetur principis ira roges ! 
surgat ad hanc vocem plena plus ignis ab ara, 

detque bonum voto lucidus omen apex. 
55 interea, qua parte licet, ne cuncta queramur, 

hie quoque te festum consule tempus agam. 
altera laetitiae est nee cedens causa priori, 

successor tanti frater honoris erit. 
nam tibi finitum summo, Graecine, Decembri 
60 imperium lani suscipit ille die. 

quaeque est in vobis pietas, alterna feretis 

gaudia, tu fratris fascibus, ille tuis. 
sic tu bis fueris consul, bis consul et ille, 

inque domo binus conspicietur honor. 
65 qui quamquam est ingens, et nullum Martia summo 

altius imperium consule Roma videt, 
multiplicat tamen hunc gravitas auctoris honorem, 

et maiestatem res data dantis habet. 
iudiciis igitur liceat Flaccoque tibique 
70 talibus Augusti tempus in omne frui. 

quod 1 tamen ab rerum cura propiore vacabit, 

vota precor votis addite vestra meis. 
et si quern dabit aura sinum, laxate rudentes, 

exeat e Stygiis ut mea navis aquis. 
75 praefuit his, Graecine, locis modo Flaccus, et illo 

ripa ferox Histri sub duce tuta fuit. 
hie tenuit Mysas gentes in pace fideli, 

hie arcu fisos terruit ense Getas. 

1 quod] cum vel ut 

EX PONTO, IV. ix. 49-78 

state demands ; now that you are proposing thanks 
on behalf of the godlike Caesars, or smiting for them 
the white throats of choice oxen. Would that, when 
you have finished your prayer for more important 
things, you might ask on my behalf the assuage- 
ment of an emperor's wrath ! At your words may 
the holy fire spring up from the full altar and a bright 
tongue of flame offer a good omen for the prayer. 

55 Meanwhile so far as I may let me not complain 
of everything even here I will have a festival for 
your consulship. There is a second cause for joy 
that yields not to the first ; your brother will follow 
you in so great an honour. For the power which is 
ended for you with late December he assumes on 
Janus's day. 1 Such is the affection of you twain that 
you will receive mutual joy, you in his office and he 
in yours. Thus you will be twice consul, he twice 
consul ; a double honour will be seen in your house- 

65 Though mighty the honour and Martian Rome 
sees no loftier power than that of the supreme consul, 
yet it is multiplied by the dignity of its sponsor and the 
gift possesses all the majesty of the giver. There- 
fore may it be your lot and that of Flaccus to enjoy 
for all time such verdicts of Augustus. But in his 
leisure from the more pressing cares of state add both 
your prayers, I beseech you, to mine, and if the breeze 
shall belly any sail, loosen the cables that my bark 
may set forth from the Stygian waters. The com- 
mander of this region, Graecinus, was till recently 
Flaccus, under whose charge the turbulent banks of 
the Hister were safe. He held the Mysian tribes to 
loyal peace, he cowed with his sword the Getae who 
1 January 1st. 



hie rap tarn Troesmin 1 celeri virtute recepit, 
80 infecitque fero sanguine Danuvium. 

quaere loci faciem Scythicique incommoda caeli, 

et quam vicino terrear hoste roga : 
sintne litae tenues serpentis felle sagittae, 

fiat an humanum victima dira caput : 
85 mentiar, an coeat duratus frigore Pontus, 

et teneat glacies iugera multa freti. 
haec ubi narrarit, quae sit mea fama require, 

quoque modo peragam tempora dura roga. 
nee sumus hie odio, nee scilicet esse meremur, 
90 nee cum fortuna mens quoque versa mea est. 
ilia quies animi, quam tu laudare solebas, 

ille vetus soli to perstat in ore pudor. 
sic ego sum longe, sic hie, ubi barbarus hostis, 

ut fera plus valeant legibus arma, facit, 
95 rem queat ut nullam tot iam, Graecine, per annos 

femina de nobis virve puerve queri. 
hoc facit ut misero faveant adsintque Tomitae : 

haec quoniam tellus testificanda mihi est. 
illi me, quia velle vident, discedere malunt : 
100 respectu cupiunt hie tamen esse sui. 

nee mihi credideris : extant decreta, quibus nos 

laudat et inmunes publica cera facit. 
conveniens miseris et quamquam gloria non est, 2 

proxima dant nobis oppida munus idem. 
105 nee pietas ignota mea est : videt hospita terra 

in nostra sacrum Caesaris esse domo. 
stant pariter natusque pius coniunxque sacerdos, 

numina iam facto non leviora deo. 

1 troesenen etc. corr. Korn 2 sit 


EX PONTO, IV. ix. 79-108 

trust in the bow. He recovered with swift valour 
captured Troesmis, dyeing the Danube with barbarian 
blood. Question him about the face of this land, the 
rigours of the Scythian climate ; ask him about the 
terror that I suffer from the foe so close at hand 
whether the slender arrows are dipped in serpent's 
gall, whether the human head becomes a hideous 
offering ; whether I am a liar or the Pontus does 
indeed freeze with the cold and ice covers many 
acres of the sea. When he has told you these things, 
then ask in what repute I am, how I pass my hours of 
suffering. Here I am not hated, and indeed I do 
not deserve to be, and my mind has not changed 
along with my fate. That tranquillity which you 
were wont to praise, that wonted modesty still abides 
as of old upon my countenance. Such is my bearing 
in this far land, where the barbarian foe causes cruel 
arms to have more power than law, that 'tis impossible 
now these many years, Graecinus, for woman or man 
or child to make complaint of me. This it is which 
brings me the kindly attentions of the Tomitae in my 
wretchedness since this land I must needs call as 
witness. Because they see that it is my wish they 
would like to have me depart ; yet for their own sake 
are eager to have me remain. And trust not me for 
this : there are extant upon the wax decrees praising 
me and granting me immunity. 1 And though 'tis 
not fitting for the unfortunate to boast, the neigh- 
bouring towns grant me the same favour. Nor is 
my piety unknown : a strange land sees a shrine to 
Caesar in my house. Beside him stand the pious son 
and priestess wife, 2 deities not less important than 
himself now that he has become a god. To make the 
1 i.e. from taxes. 2 Tiberius and Livia. 



neu desit pars ulla domus, stat uterque nepotum, 
110 hie aviae lateri proximus, ille patris. 

his ego do totiens cum ture precantia verba, 

Eoo quotiens surgit ab orbe dies, 
tota, licet quaeras, hoc me non fingere dicet 

officii testis Pontica terra mei. 
115 Pontica me tellus, quantis hac possumus ara, 1 

natalem ludis scit celebrare dei. 
nee minus hospitibus pietas est cognita talis, 

misit in has siquos longa Propontis aquas, 
is quoque, quo laevus 2 fuerat sub praeside Pontus, 
120 audierit frater forsitan ista tuus. 

fortuna est impar ammo, talique libenter 

exiguas carpo munere pauper opes, 
nee vestris damus haec oculis, procul urbe remoti : 

contenti tacita sed pietate sumus. 
125 et tamcn haec tangent aliquando Caesaris aures : 

nil illi, toto quod fit in orbe, latet. 
tu certe scis haec, 3 superis ascite, videsque, 

Caesar, ut est oculis subdita terra tins, 
tu nostras audis inter convexa locatus 
130 sidera, sollicito quas damus ore, preces. 
perveniant istuc et carmina forsitan ilia, 

quae de te misi caelite facta novo. 
auguror his igitur flecti tua numina, nee tu 

inmerito nomen mite Parentis habes. 


Haec mihi Cimmerio bis tertia ducitur aestas 
litore pellitos inter agenda Getas. 

1 ora 2 laetus a hoc 

1 Germanicus and Drusus. 2 Tiberius. 

EX PONTO, IV. ix. 109 x. 2 

household group complete, both of the grandsons l 
are there, one by the side of his grandmother, the 
other by that of his father. To these I offer incense 
and words of prayer as often as the day rises from the 
east. The whole land of Pontus you are free to 
inquire will say that I am not fabricating this and 
will bear witness to my devotion. The land of Pontus 
knows that on this altar I celebrate with what 
festivals I can the birthday of the god, nor is such 
service less known to whatsoever strangers the 
distant Propontis sends to these waters. Even your 
brother, who had charge of ill-omened Pontus, may 
perhaps have heard of it. My means are unequal 
to my wishes, but in such service gladly, though poor, 
do I expend my scant resources. Nor do I bring all 
these things before your eyes, far removed as I 
am from the city, but I am content with an un- 
spoken loyalty, and nevertheless this shall sometime 
reach the ear of Caesar 2 from whom nothing which 
occurs in the whole world is hidden. Thou at least 
knowest this, O Caesar, now one with the gods, and 
seest it, since now the world is placed beneath thine 
eyes. Thou nearest from thy place among the stars 
of heaven's vault the prayers of my anxious lips. 
Perchance even those poems may reach thee there 
which I have composed and sent about thee, a new 
divinity. And so 1 prophesy that thy holy will is 
yielding to these prayers, for not undeservedly hast 
thou the gracious name of " Father." 


Now is the sixth summer wearing away which I 
must pass on the Cimmerian shore among the skin- 


ecquos tu silices, ecquod, carissime, ferrum 

duritiae confers, Albinovane, meae ? 
5 gutta cavat lapidem, consumitur anulus usu, 

atteritur 1 pressa vomer aduncus humo. 
tempus edax igitur praeter nos omnia pcrdit : 

cessat duritia mors quoque victa mea. 
cxeinplum est animi nimium patientis Ulixes, 
10 iactatus dubio per duo lustra mari : 
tempora solliciti sed non tamen omnia fati 

pertulit, et placidae saepe fuere morae. 
an grave sex annis pulchram fovisse Calypso 

aequoreaeque fuit concubuisse deae ? 
15 excipit Hippotades, qui dat pro munere ventos, 

curvet ut inpulsos utilis aura sinus, 
nee bene cantantes labor est audire puellas : 

nee degustanti lotos amara fuit. 
lios ego, qui patriae faciant oblivia, sucos 
20 parte meae vitae, si modo dentur, eniam. 
nee tu contuleris urbem Laestrygonos umquam 

gentibus, obliqua quas obit Hister aqua, 
nee vincet Cyclops saevum feritatc Piaeehen. 

qui quota terror is pars solet esse mei ! 
25 Scylla feris trunco quod latret ab inguinc monstris, 

Heniochae nautis plus nocuere rates, 
nee potes infestis conferre Chary bdin Achaeis, 

ter licet epotum ter vomat ilia fretum. 
qui quamquani dextra regionc licentius errant* 
30 securum latus hoe non lam en esse sinunt. 
hie agri infrondes, hie spieula tincta veneriis, 

liic freta vel pediti pervia reddit hi ems, 

1 et teritur corr. Heinftius 

1 A lustrum was five years. 

2 Aeolus. a The Sirens. 


EX PONTO, IV. x. 3-32 

clad Getae. Can you compare any flint, Albinovanus, 
any iron to my endurance ? Drops of water hollow 
out a stone, a ring is worn thin by use, the hooked 
plough is rubbed away by the soil's pressure. So 
devouring time destroys all things but me : even 
death keeps aloof defeated by my endurance. The 
type of a heart suffering to excess is Ulysses, who was 
tossed for two lustra 1 on the perilous sea. Yet not 
all his hours were hours of troubled fate, for oft came 
intervals of peace. Or was it a hardship to fondle 
for six years the fair Calypso and share the couch of a 
goddess of the sea ? Hippotes' son 2 harboured him 
and gave him the winds, that a favouring breeze 
might fill and drive his sails. And 'tis not a sorrow to 
hear maidens 3 singing beautifully, nor was the lotos 
bitter to one who tasted it. Such juices, which 
cause forgetfulness of one's native land, I would 
purchase, if only they were offered, at the price of half 
my life. Nor could you compare the city of the 
Laestrygonian with the tribes which the Hister 
touches in its winding course. Cyclops will not 
surpass in cruelty Piacches and what mere fraction 
of my dread is he wont to be ! Though Scylla's 
misshapen loins may send forth the barkings of cruel 
monsters, the Heniochian ships have done more harm 
to mariners. You cannot compare Charybdis, though 
she thrice drinks in, thrice spews forth the flood, 
with the hostile Achaei who though they roam with 
larger licence in the eastern lands, yet allow not 
this shore to be safe. Here there are lands without 
a leaf, here are darts dyed in poison, here the winter 
makes even the sea a highway for one on foot, so 


ut, qua remus iter pulsis modo fecerat undis, 

siccus contempta nave viator eat. 
35 qui veniunt istinc, vix vos ea credere dicunt. 

quam miser est, qui fert asperiora fide ! 
crede tamen : nee te causas nescire sinemus, 
horrida Sarmaticum cur mare duret hiems. 
proxima sunt nobis plaustri praebentia formam 
40 et quae praecipuum sidera frigus habent. 
hinc oritur Boreas oraeque domesticus huic est 

et sumit vires a propiore loco, 
at Notus, adverso tepidum qui spirat ab axe, 

est procul et rarus languidiorque venit. 
45 adde quod hie clauso miseentur flumina Ponto, 
vimque fretum rnulto perdit ab amne suam. 
hue Lycus, hue Sagaris Peniusque Hypanisque Cales- 


influit et crebro vertice tortus Halys, 
Partheniusque rapax, et volvens saxa Cynapses 
50 labitur, et nullo tardior amne Tyras, 
et tu, femineae Thennodon cognite turmae, 

et quondam Gratis Phasi petite viris, 
cumque Borysthenio liquidissimus amne Dyrapses 

et tacite peragens lene Melanthus iter, 
55 quique duas terras, Asiam Cadmique sororem, 

separat et cursus inter utramque facit, 1 
innumerique alii, quos inter maximus omnes 

cedere Danuvius se tibi, Nile, negat. 
copia tot laticum, quas auget, adulterat undas, 
60 nee patitur vires aequor habere suas. 
quin etiam, stagno similis pigraeque paludi, 
caeruleus vix est diluiturque color. 

1 vv. 55-56 fortassf spurii 
1 Probably the Dun. 2 Europa. 

EX PONTO, IV. x. 33-62 

that where the oar had but just now beaten a way 
through the waves, the traveller proceeds dry shod, 
despising boats. 

35 Those who come from your land report that you 
scarce believe all this. How wretched is he who 
endures what is too harsh for credence ! Yet believe 
you must, nor shall I permit you to remain in ignor- 
ance of the reason why dread winter freezes the 
Sarmatian sea. Very near us are the stars having 
the form of a wain, possessing extreme cold. Here 
is the source of Boreas ; this coast is his home, and 
he takes on strength from a place nearer to him. 
On the other hand Notus, whose breath comes warm 
from the opposite pole, is far away ; he comes but 
rarely and without energy. Moreover, here the 
rivers mingle in the landlocked Pontus, and the sea 
loses its own power because of many a stream. Here 
the Lycus, here the Sagaris, the Penius, the Hypanis, 
the Cales flow in and the Halys twisting in many an 
eddy, the destroying Parthenius, and the Cynapses 
glides along tumbling his boulders, and the Tyras 
inferior to no stream in swiftness, and thou, Ther- 
modon, familiar to the bands of women, and thou, 
Phasis, sought by Grecian heroes, and with the Borys- 
thenes the clear Dyrapses, and the Melanthus, 
quietly completing his gentle course, and the river l 
which separates two lands, Asia and Cadmus's 
sister, 2 making its way between them, and countless 
others of which mightiest of all the Danube refuses, 
O Nile, to yield to thee. The wealth of so many 
waters corrupts the waves which it augments, not 
allowing the sea to keep its own strength. Nay, like 
to a still pool or a stagnant swamp its colour is scarce 
blue and is washed away. The fresh water floats 



innatat unda freto dulcis, leviorque marina est, 

quae proprium mixto de sale pondus liabet. 
65 si roget haec aliquis cur sint narrata Pedoni, 

quidve loqui certis iuverit ista modis, 
" detinui " dicam " curas tempusque fefelli. 

hunc fruclum praesens attulit hora mihi. 
afuimus solito, dum scribirnus ista, dolore, 
70 in mediis nee nos sensimus esse Getis." 
at tu, non dubito, cum Thesea carmine laudes, 

materiae titulos quin tueare tuae, 
quemque refers, imitere virum. vetat ille profecto 

tranquilli comitem temporis esse fidem. 
75 qui quamquam est factis ingens et conditur a te 

vir tan to quanto debuit ore cani, 
est tamen ex illo nobis imitabile quiddam, 

inque fide Theseus quilibet esse potest. 
non tibi sunt hostes ferro clavaque domandi, 
80 per quos vix ulli pervius Isthmos erat : 

sed praestandus amor, res non operosa volenti. 

quis labor est puram non temerasse fidem ? 
haec tibi, qui perstas l indeclinatus amico, 

non est quod lingua dicta querente putes. 


Gallio, crimen erit vix excusabile nobis, 

carmine te nomen non habuisse meo. 
tu quoque enim, memini, caelesti cuspide facta 

fovisti lacrimis vulnera nostra tuis. 

1 praestas 

1 The robbers on the Isthmus of Corinth whom Theseus 

EX PONTO, IV. x. 63 xi. 4 

ipon the flood, being lighter than the sea-water 
ivhich possesses weight of its own from the mixture 
rf salt. 

65 If somebody ask why I have told all this to Pedo, 
what profit there has been in speaking so precisely, 
[ would say, " I have given pause to my cares and 
beguiled the time ; this is the profit the present hour 
las brought me. I have gained release in writing 
this from my accustomed grief and have lost the 
feeling that I am among the Getae." 

71 But you, I doubt not, since you are singing in 
/erse the praises of Theseus, are doing honour to the 
subject and imitating the hero whom you describe. 
Surely he forbids fidelity to be the companion only 
rf happy moments. His deeds are great and he is 
lescribed by you in a vein grand enough for a hero, 
yet there is one thing in him that we can imitate : in 
fidelity anybody can be a Theseus. You do not have 
to subdue with sword and club the foe 1 who rendered 
the Isthmos scarce passable for anyone, but you must 
make good your love, a thing not hard for one who 
lias the wish. What trouble is it to refrain from 
outraging unblemished fidelity ? You, who stand 
unswervingly by your friend, must not think that 
these words have been uttered by a complaining 


Gallio, it will be a sin which I can scarce palliate 
f your name proves not to have found a place in my 
ferse. For you too, I remember, when I was smitten 
Dythe divine spear, bathed my wounds with your tears. 



5 atque utinam rapti iactura laesus amici 
sensisses ultra, quod querererc, nihil ! 
non ita dis placuit, qui te spoliare pudica 

coniuge crudeles non habuere nefas. 
nuntia nam luctus mihi nuper epistula venit, 
10 lectaque cum lacrimis sunt tua damna meis. 
sed neque solari prudentem stultior ausim, 

verbaque doctorum nota referre tibi : 
finitumque tuum, si non ratione, dolorem 

ipsa iam pridem suspicor esse mora. 
15 dum tua pervenit, dum littera nostra rccurrcns 

tot maria ac terras permeat, annus abit. 
temporis officium est solacia dicere certi, 

dum dolor in cursu est et petit aeger opem. 
at cum longa dies sedavit vulnera mentis, 
20 intempestive qui mo vet l ilia, no vat. 

adde quod (atque utinam verum tibi venerit omen !) 
coniugio felix iam potes esse novo. 


Quo minus in nostris ponaris, amice, libellis, 

nominis efficitur condioione tin. 
ast ego non alium prius hoc dignarer honore 

est aliquis nostrum si modo carmen honor. 
5 lex pedis officio fortunaquc nominis obstat, 

quaquc meos adeas est via nulla modos. 
nam pudet in geminos ita nomen scindere versus, 

desinat ut prior hoc incipiatque minor. 

1 monet 

1 Tuticanus can be got into elegiac verse in four ways, all 
violent: (1) by dividing the name between two lines; by 
scanning (2) Tutieanus or (3) Tiitiodnua or (4>) Tiltlcdnus. 

EX PONTO, IV. xi. 5 xii. 8 

And would that injured by the loss of your ravished 
friend you had felt no further blow to stir lament. 
Not so has it pleased the gods, for in their cruelty 
they have not thought it wrong to despoil you of your 
pure wife. I have but just received a letter which 
told me your sorrow, and I read of your loss with 
tears. But I should not venture in folly to console 
one who is wiser than I, to repeat to you the familiar 
words of the wise men ; your grief has been for some 
time ended, I suppose, if not by reasoning, then by 
the lapse of time. While your letter has been on its 
way, while mine in answer is traversing so many lands 
and seas, a year has passed. The service of consola- 
tion belongs to a definite period while grief is still in 
progress and the stricken one is seeking aid. But 
after long time has quieted the soul's wounds, he 
who touches them out of season, only reopens them. 
Moreover and may this omen be true when it 
reaches you ! you may already be happy through a 
new marriage. 


The bar, my friend, that prevents your finding a 
place in my verse, is set up by the nature of your 
name. For my part I should deem no other more 
worthy of the honour if only my verse involves any 
honour. 'Tis my metre's law and your unfortunate 
name that oppose the compliment, and there is no 
method by which you can enter my rhythm. For I 
should be ashamed to separate your name between 
two lines, 1 ending the first with a part and beginning 
the second with another part, and I should be equally 


et pudeat, si te, qua syllaba parte moratur, 
10 artius adpellem Tuticanumque vocem. 
nee l potes in versum Tuticani more venire, 

fiat ut e longa syllaba prima brevis, 
aut producatur, 2 quae nunc correptius exit, 

et sit porrecta longa secunda mora. 
15 his ego si vitiis ausim corrumpere nomen, 

ridear et merito pectus habere neger. 
haec mihi causa fuit dilati muneris huius, 

quod meus adiecto faenore reddet 3 amor, 
teque canam quacumque nota, tibi carmina mittam, 
20 paene mihi puero cognite paene puer, 

perque tot annorum seriem, quot habemus uterque, 

non mihi, quam fratri frater, amate minus, 
tu bonus hortator, tu duxque comesque fuisti, 

cum regerem tenera frena novella manu. 
25 saepe ego correxi sub te censore libellos, 

saepe tibi admonitu facta litura meo est, 
dignarn Maeoniis Phaeacida condere chartis 

cum te Pieriae perdocuere deae. 
hie tenor, haec viridi concordia coepta iuventa 
30 venit ad albentis inlabefacta comas. 

quae nisi te moveant, duro tibi pectora ferro 

esse vel invicto clausa adamante putem. 
sed prius huic desint et bellum et frigora terrae, 

invisus nobis quae duo Pontus habet, 
35 et tepidus Boreas et sit praefrigidus Auster, 

et possit fatum mollius esse meum, 
quam tua sint lasso 4 praecordia dura sodali. 
hie cumulus nostris absit abestque mails. 

1 nee] et vel non corr. <r 
2 ut ducatur 8 reddit 4 lapso 

1 Similarly Horace alludes to a town whose name resisted 
metre (Sat. i. 5. 87), Lucilius to a festival (228 f. Marx), and 


EX PONTO, IV. xn. 9-38 

ishamed if, where a syllable is long, I should shorten 
t and address you as Tuticanus. Nor can you enter 
nto the verse as Tuticanus, so that the first long 
iyllable is shortened ; or so that the second syllable, 
vhich is now short, should be long by extending 
ts time, If by such faults as these I should venture 
,o distort your name, I should be laughed at and 
;hey would say rightly that I had no taste. 1 

17 This was my reason for putting off this service, but 
ny love shall render it with added interest, and I 
will sing of you under some symbol or other ; I will 
send you verses you whom I knew when we were 
ilmost boys, whom through the succession of all the 
pears of our lives I have loved no less dearly than a 
3rother. You gave me kindly encouragement, you 
were my guide and comrade, whilst with youthful 
hand I was guiding the novel reins. Often I revised 
my work in deference to your criticism, often on your 
advice I made erasures, while you the Pierian god- 
desses taught to compose a Phaeacis 2 worthy of the 
Maeonian pages. This constancy, this harmony of 
tastes begun in the green of youth, has continued 
unweakened to the time when our hair is white. 
If this should not affect you, I should believe that 
you had a heart encased in iron or unconquerable 
adamant. But sooner would this land lack war and 
cold the two things which hated Pontus holds for 
me sooner would Boreas become warm and Auster 
chilly, and my fate less harsh, than would your heart 
be hard to your weary friend Let this final blow 
be absent and it is absent from my woes. 

Critias had trouble with " Alcibiades," c/. Bergk-Hiller- 
Crusius, Anthol. lyr. fr. 5, p. 136. 

8 An epic on the sojourn of Ulysses in Phaeacia. 



tu modo per superos, quorum certissimus ille est, 
40 quo tuus assidue principe crevit honor, 
effice constant! profugum pietate tuendo, 

ne sperata meam deserat aura ratem. 
quid mandem, quaeris ? peream, nisi dicere vix est ; 

si modo, qui periit, ille perire potest. 
45 nee quid agam invenio, nee quid nolimve velimve, 

nee satis utilitas est mihi nota mea. 
crede mihi, miseros prudentia prima relinquit, 

et sensus cum re consiliumque fugit. 
ipse, precor, quaeras, qua sim tibi parte iuvandus, 
50 quoque viam facias ad mea vota vado. 


O mihi non dubios inter memorande sodales, 

qui quod es, id vere, Care, vocaris, ave ! 
unde saluteris, color hie tibi protinus index 

et structura mei carminis esse potest. 
5 non quia mirifica est, sed quod non publica certe est i 

qualis enim cumque est, non latet esse meam. 
ipse quoque, ut titulum chartae de fronte revellas, 

quod sit opus, videor dicere posse, tuum. 
quamlibet in multis positus noscere libellis, 
10 perque observatas inveniere notas. 

prodent auctorem vires, quas Hercule dignas 

novimus atque illi, quern canis ipse, 1 pares. 

et mea Musa potest, proprio deprensa colore, 

insignis vitiis forsitan esse suis. 
16 tarn mala Thersiten prohibebat forrna latere, 
quam pulchra Nireus conspiciendus erat. 
1 ipse] esse 

1 Carus > " dear." " 

2 As Thersites was the ugliest, so Nireus was (after 
Achilles) the most beautiful man in the Greek host at Troy. 

EX PONTO, IV. xii. 39 xin. 16 

39 Only do you by the gods of whom He is most 
trustworthy under whose lead your honour has steadily 
increased see to it by watching over an exile with 
steadfast devotion that the breeze of hope does not 
forsake my bark. What are my directions, you ask ? 
May I die if it is not hard to say if only he who is 
already dead can die. I find nothing to do or to 
wish or not wish, nor do I quite know what is to my 
advantage. Believe me, foresight is the first thing 
to abandon the wretched, and along with fortune 
sense and reason flee. Seek in person, I beg you, 
how you ought to aid me, and over what shallows you 
may construct a way to accomplish my wishes. 


To you who must be counted among my undoubted 
friends to you who arc in very truth what you 
are called, Carus, 1 greetings ! Whence comes this 
salutation, the tone of this letter and the structure of 
the verse can tell you, riot that it is excellent, but 
'tis at least not commonplace ; for whatever be its 
merit, 'tis clear to see that it is mine. I, too, though 
you should tear the title from the head of your pages, 
could tell, I think, what work is yours. No matter 
how many the books among which you may be placed 
you will be recognized, discovered by signs I have 
observed. The author will be betrayed by the vigour 
which we know to be worthy of Hercules and suited 
to him of whom you yourself sing. My Muse too, 
detected by her own complexion, can perhaps be 
distinguished by her very blemishes. Ugliness pre- 
vented Thersites from escaping notice as much as 
beauty made Nireus conspicuous. 2 



nee te mirari, si sint vitiosa, decebit 

carmina, quae faciam paene poeta Getes. 
a ! pudet, et Getico scrips! sermone libellum, 
20 structaque sunt nostris barbara vcrba modis : 
et placui (gratare mihi) coepique poetae 

inter inhumanos nomen habere Getas. 
materiam quaeris ? laudes : de Caesare dixi. 

adiuta est novitas numine nostra dei. 
25 nam patris August! docui mortale fuisse 

corpus, in aetherias numen abisse domos : 
esse parem virtute patri, qui frena rogatus 

saepe recusati ceperit imperii : 
esse pudicarum te Vestam, Li via, rnatrum, 
30 ambiguum nato dignior anne viro : 

esse duos iuvenes, firm a adiumenta parcntis, 

qui dederint animi pignora certa sui. 
haec ubi non patria perlegi scripta Cainena, 

venit et ad digitos ultima charta meos, 
35 et caput et plenas omncs movere pharetras, 

et longurn Getico murmur in ore fiat, 
atque aliquis " scribas haec cum de Caesare," dixit 

" Caesaris imperio restituendus eras." 
ille quidem dixit : sed me iam, Care, nivali 
40 sexta relegatum bruma sub axe videt. 

carmina nil prosunt. nocuerunt carmina quondam, 

primaque tarn miserae causa fuere fugae. 
at tu, per studii communia foedera sacri, 

per non vile tibi nomen amicitiae 
45 (sic cap to Latiis Germanicus hoste catenis 

materiam vestris adferat ingeniis : 

1 Tiberius. 

2 Drusus, the son, arid Germanicus, the nephew and 
adopted son, of Tiberius. 


EX PONTO, IV. xin. 17-46 

17 Nor should you wonder if my verse prove faulty, 
for I am almost a Getic poet. Ah ! it brings me 
shame ! I have even written a poem in the Getic 
tongue, setting barbarian words to our measures : I 
even found favour congratulate me ! and began to 
achieve among the uncivilized Getae the name of 
poet. You ask my theme ? you would praise it : I 
sang of Caesar. My novel attempt was aided by 
the god's will. For I told how the body of father 
Augustus was mortal, but his spirit had passed to the 
abodes of heaven ; that equal in virtue to his father 
was he l who, when importuned, accepted the guid- 
ance of the empire which he had often refused ; that 
thou, Livia, wert the Vesta of pure matrons, it is 
uncertain whether more worthy of thy son or thy 
husband ; that there were two sons, 2 strong supports 
of their father, who have given sure proofs of their 

33 When I read all this, written not in the language 
of my native Muse, and the last page felt the touch 
of my fingers, all moved their heads and their full 
quivers, and there was a long murmur on the lips of 
the Getae. And one of them said, " Since you write 
this about Caesar, it were fitting that you be restored 
by Caesar's command." He said this, yes, but, 
Carus, already the sixth winter sees me banished 
beneath the icy pole. My verse avails me naught ; 
my verse once wrought me harm and was the first 
cause of this wretched exile. But do you, by the 
common pledges of our sacred calling, by the name 
of friendship which is not cheap in your eyes so 
may Gerrnanicus lead the enemy captive in Latin 
chains and provide a subject for your abilities ; so 



sic valeant pueri, votum commune dec-rum, 

quos laus formandos est tibi magna datos), 
quanta potes, praebe nostrae momenta l saluti, 
50 quae nisi mutato nulla futura loco est. 


Haec tibi mittuntur, quern sum modo carmine questus 

non aptum numeris nomen habere meis, 
in quibus, excepto quod adhuc utcumque valemus, 

nil, me praeterea quod iuvet, invenies. 
5 ipsa quoque est invisa salus, suntque ultima vota 

quolibet ex istis scilicet ire locis. 
nulla mini cura est, terra quo mittar 2 ab ista, 

hac quia, quam video, gratior omnis erit. 
in medias Syrtes, mediam mea vela Charybdin 
10 mittite, praesenti dum careamus humo. 

Styx quoque, si quid ea est, bene commutabitur 


siquid et inferius quam Styga mundus habet. 
gramina cultus ager, frigus minus odit hirundo, 

proxima Marticolis quam loca Naso Getis. 
15 talia suscensent 3 propter mihi verba Tomitae, 

iraque carminibus publica mota meis. 
ergo ego cessabo numquam per carmina laedi, 

plectar et incauto semper ab ingenio ? 
ergo ego, ne scribam, digitos incidere cunctor, 
20 telaque adhuc demens, quae nocuere, sequor ? 
ad veteres scopulos iterum devertor 4 et illas, 
in quibus offendit naufraga puppis, aquas ? 

1 monimenta corr. f 2 muter 

* succensent 4 devertar 

1 Probably the sons of Germanicus. a Ex P. iv. 12. 


EX PONTO, IV. XITI. 47 xiv. 22 

may the youths 1 be well, the source of universal 
prayers to the gods, whose training to your great 
praise has been made your trust do you to your 
utmost power advance that weal of mine which I 
shall never have, unless the place be changed. 


These words are sent to you whose name but 
recently I complained in verse 2 was not suited to my 
metre : here except that I am still in some sort 
well you will find nothing else that brings me 
pleasure. My very health is hateful to me, and 'tis 
my final prayer to go anywhere, be it only from this 
place. I care not whither I am sent from such a 
land, because any land will please me better than 
this upon which I look. Cause me to sail to the 
midst of the Syrtes, or Charybdis, provided I escape 
this present soil. Even the Styx, if such thing there 
be, will be well exchanged for the Hister, or what-* 
ever the world has that is lower than the Styx. The 
tilled field feels less hate for the grass, the swallow 
for the cold, than Naso hates the region near the 
war-loving Getae. 

15 For such words the anger of the Tomitae rises 
against me, the wrath of the town is stirred by my 
verse. Shall I then never cease to be injured by verse, 
shall I always suffer from my indiscreet talent ? Do I 
then hesitate to cut my fingers that I may not write, 
do I still in madness trail after the weapons which 
have harmed me ? Am I being driven once more 
upon the old reef and into those waters in which my 



sed nihil admisi, nulla est mea culpa, Tomitae, 
quos ego, cum loca sim vestra perosus, amo. 
25 quilibet excutiat nostri monimenta laboris : 

littera de vobis est mea questa nihil. 
frigus et incursus omni de parte timendos 

et quod pulsetur murus ab hoste queror. 
in loca, non homines, verissima crimina dixi. 
30 culpatis vestrum vos quoque saepe solum. 
esset perpetuo sua quam vitabilis Ascra, 
ausa est agricolae Musa docere senis : 
et fuerat genitus terra, qui scripsit, in ilia, 

intumuit vati nee tarn en Ascra suo. 
35 quis patriam sollerte magis dilexit Ulixe ? 

hoc tamen asperitas indice docta l loci est. 
non loca, sed mores scriptis vexavit ainaris 

Scepsius Ausonios, actaque Roma rea est : 
falsa tamen passa est aequa convicia mente, 
40 obfuit auctori nee fera lingua suo. 

at malus interpres populi mihi concitat iram 
inque novum crimen carmina nostra vocat. 
tarn felix utinam quam pectore candidus esscm ! 

extat adhuc nemo saucius ore meo. 
45 adde quod Illyrica si iam pice nigrior essem, 

non mordenda mihi turba ndelis erat. 
molliter a vobis mea sors excepta, Tomitae, 

tarn mites Graios indicat esse viros. 
gens mea Paeligni regioque domestica Sulmo 
60 non potuit nostris lenior esse malis. 

quern vix incolumi cuiquam salvoque daretis, 
is datus a vobis est mihi nuper honor. 

1 dicta nota G~ 

1 Hesiod. 2 Metrodorus. 

8 Niger means here *' slanderous." 4 i.e. unexiled. 


EX PONTO, IV. xiv. 23-52 

bark was wrecked ? But I have committed no crime, 
1 am not at fault, Tomitae, for you I esteem, though 
1 detest your land. Let anyone you will examine 
the memorials of my toil, my letters have uttered no 
complaints about you. Of the cold, of the raids to 
be feared from every side, of the assaults by the 
enemy upon the wall I complain. Against the land, 
not the people, I have uttered true charges ; even 
you often criticize your own soil. How his own 
Ascra was constantly to be avoided the old farmer 
poet 1 dared to sing, and he who wrote had been 
born in that land, yet Ascra grew not angry with her 
bard. Who loved his native land more than the 
wily Ulysses ? Yet its roughness has been learned 
through his own evidence. Not the land, but the 
ways of Ausonia were attacked in bitter writing by 
the Scepsian, 2 and Rome was indicted, yet she bore 
the false abuse calmly, and the author's wild tongue 
did him no harm. But against me a perverse inter- 
preter rouses the popular wrath, bringing a new 
charge against my verse. Would I were as happy 
as my heart is clean ! Nobody to this day lives whom 
my lips have wounded. And besides if I were now 
blacker 3 than Illyrian tar, a loyal people would not 
be attacked by me. Your gentle harbouring of my 
fate, Tomitae, shows how kindly are men of Grecian 
stock. My own people, the Paeligni, my home 
country of Sulmo could not have been gentler to my 
woes. An honour which you would scarcely grant 
to one who was without blemish 4 and secure, that 
you have recently granted to me : I am as yet the 

2 1 481 


solus adhuc ego sum vestris inmunis in oris, 

exceptis, siqui munera legis habent. 
65 tempora sacrata mea sunt velata corona, 

publicus invito quam favor inposuit. 
quam grata est igitur Latonae Delia tellus, 

erranti tutum quae dedit una locum, 
tarn mihi cara Tomis, patria quae sede fugatis 
60 tempus ad hoc nobis hospita fida manet. 
di modo fecissent, placidae spem posset babere 

pads, et a gelido longius axe foret. 


Siquis adhuc usquam nostri non inmemor extat, 

quidve relegatus Naso, requirit, agam : 
Caesaribus vitam, Sexto debere salutern 

me sciat. a superis hie mihi primus crit. 
5 tempora nam miserae complectar ut omnia vitae, 

a meritis eius pars mihi nulla vacat. 
quae numero tot sunt, quot in horto fertilis arvi 

Punica sub lento cortice graria rubent, 
Africa quot segetes, quot Tmolia terra racemos, 
10 quot Sicyon bacas, quot parit Hybla favos. 
confiteor : testere licet, signate Quirites ! 

nil opus est legum viribus, ipse loquor. 
inter opes et me, parvam rein, pone paternas : 

pars ego sum census quantulacumque tui. 
15 quam tua Trinacria est regnataque terra Philippe, 

quam domus Augusto continuata foro, 

1 i.e. from taxes. It is not known who were exempted 
besides Ovid or what imposts are meant. 

2 Lydia. 3 Sicilian. 
* i.e. in Macedonia. 


EX PONTO, IV. xiv. 53 xv. 16 

only one immune l upon your shores, those only 
excepted who have the boon by law. My brow has 
been veiled with a sacred chaplet which the popular 
favour placed there all against my will. Wherefore 
dear as is to Latona the land of Delos, which alone 
offered her a safe place in her wandering, so dear is 
Tomis to me ; to me exiled from my native abode it 
remains hospitable and loyal to the present time. 
Would that the gods had only made it possible for 
it to have the hope of calm peace and to be farther 
away from the icy pole ! 


If there be still anywhere one who has not for- 
gotten me or who asks how exiled Naso fares, let him 
know that I owe my life to the Caesars, my well- 
being to Sextus. After those above he in my eyes 
shall stand first. For though I should include all the 
hours of my w r retched life, none is lacking in services 
from him. These are as many as in the orchard of a 
fertile farm are the seeds of the pomegranate, red 
beneath their slow-growing husk, as the grain of 
Africa, as the grape clusters of the Tmolian land, 2 
as the olives of Sicyon, or the honey-cells of Hybla. 
This is my confession ; you may witness it ; put 
your seal upon it, Quirites. It needs not the force 
of the law ; I myself declare it. Set me too, an 
humble chattel, amongst your inherited wealth ; I 
am a part, no matter how small, of your estate. As 
Trinacrian 3 lands are yours or those once ruled over 
by Philip, 4 as the home next the forum of Augustus, 



quam tua, rus oculis domini, Campania, gratum, 

quaeque relicta tibi, Sexte, vel empta tenes : 
tarn tuus en ego sum, cuius te munere tristi 
20 non potes in Ponto dicer e habere nihil. 
atque utinam possis, et detur amicius arvum, 

remque tuam ponas in meliore loco ! 
quod quoniam in dis est, tempta lenire precando 

numina, perpetua quae pietate colis. 
25 erroris nam tu vix est discernere nostri 

sis argumentum maius an auxilium. 
nee dubitans oro : sed flumine saepe secundo 

augetur remis cursus euntis aquae, 
et pudet et metuo semperque eademque precari, 
30 ne subeant animo taedia iusta tuo. 

verum quid faciam ? res inmoderata cupido est. 

da veniam vitio, mitis amice, meo. 
scribere saepe aliud cupiens delabor eodem : 

ipsa locum per se littera nostra rogat. 
35 seu tamen effectus habitura est gratia, seu me 

dura iubet gelido Parca sub axe mori, 
semper inoblita repetam tua munera mente, 

et mea me tellus audiet esse tuum. 
audiet et caelo posita est quaecumque sub ullo 
40 (transit nostra feros si modo Musa Getas) 
teque meae causam servatoremque salutis, 

meque tuum libra norit et aere minus. 


Invide, quid laceras Nasonis carmina rapti ? 
non solet ingeniis summa nocere dies, 

1 Apparently Pompey could prove (argumentum) thi 
" error " which Ovid regarded as the beginning of all his woe 


EX PONTO, IV. xv. 17 xvi. 2 

as your Campanian lands, an estate dear to your 
eyes, or whatever you hold by inheritance, Sextus, 
or by purchase, so am I yours, and by reason of this 
sad gift you cannot say that you own naught in the 
Pontus. Would that you could and that a more 
pleasant estate might be given you, that you might 
establish your property in a better place ! Since this 
rests with the gods, try to soften by prayer those 
deities whom you worship with constant devotion. 
For 'tis hard to distinguish whether you are more the 
proof of my mistake or the relief. 1 

27 Nor do I plead because I doubt ; but oft adown 
the stream the oars hasten the voyage over the flowing 
waters. I feel shame and apprehension always to be 
making the same request, lest your heart grow justly 
weary. But what am I to do ? My desire is 
measureless. Pardon my fault, gentle friend. 
Though I often wish to write in a different vein, I 
pass imperceptibly to the same theme ; my very 
letters of their own accord seek the opportunity. 
Yet whether your influence shall win its end or 
whether a cruel fate bids me die beneath the freezing 
pole, I shall always recall your services with un- 
forgetting heart and my land shall hear that I belong 
to you. It shall be heard by every land under any 
sky if only my Muse passes the confines of the wild 
Getae that you are the cause and saviour of my 
weal ; that I am yours almost as if the scales and 
bronze had bought me. 


Jealous man, why do you wound the verse of 
ravished Naso ? The final day is not wont to injure 



famaque post cineres maior venit. et mihi nomen 

turn quoque, cum vivis adnumerarer, erat : 
5 cumque foret Marsus magnique Rabinus oris 

Iliacusque Macer sidereusque Pedo ; 
et, qui lunonem laesisset in Hercule, Carus, 

lunonis si iam non gener ille foret ; 
quique dedit Latio carmen regale Severus, 
10 et cum subtili Priscus uterque Numa ; 

quique vel imparibus numeris, Montane, vel aequis 

sufficis, et gemino carmine nomen babes ; 
et qui Penelopae rescribere iussit Ulixen 

errantem saevo per duo lustra mari, 
15 quique suam Troesmin l imperfectumque dierum 

deseruit celeri morte Sabinus opus ; 
ingeniique sui dictus cognomine Largus, 

Gallica qui Phrygium duxit in arva senem ; 
quique canit domito Camerinus ab Hectore Troiam : 
20 quique sua nomen Phyllide Tuscus habet ; 
velivolique maris vates, cui credere posses 

carmina caeruleos composuisse deos ; 
quique acies Libycas Romanaque proelia dixit ; 

et Marius scripti dexter in omne genus ; 
25 Trinacriusque suae Perseidos auctor, et auctor 

Tantalidae reducis Tyndaridosque Lupus ; 
et qui Maeoniam Phaeacida 2 vertit, et une 3 
Pindaricae fidicen tu quoque, Rufe, lyrae ; 
Musaque Turrani tragicis innixa cothurnis ; 
30 et tua cum socco Musa, Melisse, levi 4 ; 

1 trisonem vel troadem vel troezen etc. corr. Ehwald 

8 ecateida vel aeacida 

8 uni vel una 

4 levis 


EX PONTO, IV. xvi. 3-30 

genius, and fame is greater after one is ashes. I too 
had a name even at the time when I was counted 
with the living, when Marsus 1 lived and Rabirius 
of the mighty voice, the Ilian Macer, and Pedo 
towering to the stars, and Carus, who in his Hercules 
had angered Juno if that hero were not already Juno's 
son-in-law ; and he who gave to Latium a regal 
poem, Severus, and both Prisci together with tasteful 
Numa ; and thou, Montanus, master of metres 
whether even or uneven, whose fame rests upon two 
kinds of verse, and he who bade Ulysses write home 
to Penelope as he wandered for two lustra over 
the savage sea, Sabinus, who in untimely death 
abandoned his Troesmis, 2 the uncompleted work of 
many days ; Largus, called by the surname of his own 
genius, who guided the aged Phrygian to the fields 
of Gaul ; and Camerinus who sings of Troy after the 
vanquishing of Hector ; and Tuscus, renowned for 
his Phyllis ; the bard 3 of the sail-covered sea, whose 
verse one might believe composed by the sea- 
coloured gods ; and he who sang of the armies of 
Libya and Rome's battles ; and Marius, skilled in 
every style of composition, and Trinacrius who wrote 
of the Perseid he knew so well, and Lupus, author of 
the homecoming of Tyndarus's daughter with the 
scion of Tantalus ; and he 4 who translated the 
Maeonian Pkaeacis, and thou too, Rufus, unique 
player on Pindar's lyre ; and Turranius's Muse 
wearing the tragic buskin, and thine, Melissus, with 

1 For information concerning the poets in this long list 
see Index. 

a Possibly an epic on the recovery of Troesmis, cf. iv. 9. 79. 
See Index. 

8 The poets alluded to in vv. 21-26 are otherwise unknown. 

4 Probably Tuticanus (Index). 



cum Varius Graccusque darent fera dicta tyrannis, 

Callimachi Proculus molle teneret iter, 
Tityron antiquas Passerque rediret 1 ad herbas 

aptaque venanti Grattius arma daret ; 
35 Naidas a Satyris caneret Fontanus amatas, 

clauderet imparibus verba Capella modis ; 
cumque forent alii, quorum mihi cuncta referre 

nomina longa mora est, carmina vulgus habet ; 
essent et iuvenes, quorum quod inedita cura 2 est, 
40 adpellandorum nil mihi iuris adest 

(te tamen in turba non ausim, Cotta, silcre, 

Pieridum lumen praesidiumque fori, 
maternos Cottas cui Messallasque paternos, 

Maximc, 3 nobilitas ingeminata dedit) 
45 dicere si fas est, claro mea nomine Musa 

atque inter tantos quae legeretur erat. 
ergo summotum patria proscindere, Livor, 

desine, neu cineres sparge, cruente, meos. 
omnia perdidimus : tantummodo vita relicta est, 
50 praebeat ut sensum materiamque mali. 

quid iuvat extinctos ferrum demittere 4 in artus ? 
non habet in nobis iam nova plaga locum. 

J Passerque rediret] et erat qui pasceret herbas 

8 causa : cura r 8 maxima 

4 dimittere corr. Itali 


EX PONTO, IV. xvi. 31-52 

her light slippers. While Varius and Graccus 
furnished cruel words to tyrants, Proculus followed 
the tender path of Callimachus, Passer 1 returned to 
Tityrus and the familiar meadows, and Grattius 
supplied weapons suited to the hunter ; while 
Fontanus sang of Naiads beloved by Satyrs, while 
Capella prisoned words in unequal measures ; and 
while there were others all of whose names it were 
long for me to mention, whose songs the people 
possess ; while there were youths also whose work 
unpublished gives me no right to name them yet 
amid the throng, of thee, Cotta Maximus, I should 
not venture to be silent, light of the Pierians and 
guardian of the forum, to whom a twofold noble 
lineage has given on thy mother's side the Cottas, on 
the father's the Messallas my Muse was famed, if 
'tis right to speak thus, and she was one who was 
read among so many of the great. 

47 So, Malice, cease to tear one banished from his 
country ; scatter not my ashes, cruel one ! I have 
lost all ; life alone remains, to give me the conscious- 
ness and the substance of sorrow. What pleasure to 
thee to drive the steel into limbs already dead ? 
There is no space in me now for a new wound. 

1 Line 33 has been much emended. I have followed 
Nemethy who retains the reading of the best MSS. and 
takes Passer as a poet's name. 



The references are to lines of the Latin text. T. =Tristia ; P. =Ex Ponto ; 
fl. = floruit, "flourished"; c. circa, "about,"; b. =born; t=died; 
n. = riote. The citations are complete except where etc. is added.] 

Absyrtus. Medea's brother, T. iii. 

Abydos, a town on the Dardanelles, 
T. i. 10. 28 

Accius (Lucius), a Roman poet, 
noted especially for tragedy. 
Only a few fragments are extant. 
Born c. 170 B.C. T. ii. 359 

Achaei, a wild tribe dwelling near 
the Pontus, P. iv. 10. 27 

Achaemenides, a companion of 
Ulysses left behind in Sicily, 
later rescued by Aeneas, P. ii. 2. 25 

Achilles, son of Peleus and grand- 
son of Aeacus, greatest warrior 
among the Greeks who besieged 
Troy. He quarrelled with Aga- 
memnon who had forced him 
to give up Briseis of Lyrnesua, 
his favourite slave, but "allowed 
his friend Patroclus to wear his 
armour and tight the Tiojans. 
He slew Hector to avenge Patro- 
clus, but yielded his body to 
King Priam for burial. Achilles 
was slain by an arrow which 
Apollo guided from Paris' bow. 
T. i. 1. 100, etc. 

Achivus, Achaean, i.e. Grecian, P. 
\. 4. 33 

A con tins, lover of Cydippe. He 
wrote upon an apple "I swear 
by Artemis to wed Aeon tins." 
Cydippe picked up the apple, 
read the words, and was bound 
by the oath. T. iii. 10. 73 

Actaeon. See T. ii. 105 f. 

Actaeus, Attic, P. iv. 1. 31 

Actoridea, grandson of Actor. See 

Admetus. See Alcestis 

Adrastus, king of Argos, P. i. 
3. 79 

Aeacides, grandson of Aeacus, i.e. 

Aeetes, father of Medea. See Medea 

Aegaeus, the sea between Greece 
and Asia Minor as far south as 

Aegides, son of Aegeus, i.e. Theseus 

Aegisos, a Moesian town (now 
Tuldza) above the delta of the 
Danube, P. i. 8. 13 ; iv. 7. 21, 53 

Aegisthus. See Clytaemestra 

Aegyptus. See Danaides 

Aeneades, descendant of Aeneas, 
a name applied to members of 
the Julian family, especially to 
Augustus, P. iii. 4. 84, etc. 

Aeneas, son of Anchises and Venus. 
He escaped from Troy with his 
father and his son Ascanius 
and settled in Latium. From 
Ascanius (under the name of 
lulus) the Julian family claimed 
descent. T. i. 2. 7, etc. 

Aeiieis, the Aeneid, Virgil's great 
epic on Aeneas. T. ii. 633 

Aeolus, son of Hippotes and lord of 
the winds, T. i. 4. 17 

Aerope, wife of Aireus. She was 
violated by her brother-in-law 



Thyestes. When Atreus slew 
Aerope together with Thyestes 
and his children, the sun turned 
aside in horror (T. ii. 392). 
According to another story 
Atreus slew Thyestes' children 
and served them to him at a 
feast. P. i. 2. 119 

Aeson, father of Jason, P. i. 4. 
23, 46 

Aesonides, son of Aeson, i.e. Jason, 
P. i. 4. 36 

Aethahs, an adj. applied to Elba, 
the Greek AleaArj, /'. ii. 3. 84 

Aetna, the great volcano of Sicily, 
T. v. 2. 75 

Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, 
leader of the Greeks at Troy. 
See Cly taemestra, Orestes, 
Achillei. T. v. 6. 25, etc. 

Agenor. See Phineus 

Agenorides, son of Agenor, i.e. 
Cadmus, P. i. 8. 77 

Agrius, father of Thersites, the 
ugliest man among the Greeks 
who besieged Troy, P. iii. 9. 9 

Ajax, son of Telamon, the mightiest 
Greek warrior at Troy save only 
Achilles, P. iv. 7. 41 

Albanus, "Alban," from Alba 
Longa, a town on the Alban Mount 
not far from Rome, founded by 
Ascanius (lulus), P. i. 8. 67 

Albinovanus, probably Albino- 
vanus Pedo, a soldier, who 
served with Germanicus in 
Germany, and a poet be^t known 
for epigrams (only one fragment 
of his work is extant), P. iv. 10 

Alcathous, son of Pelops and king 
of Megara, T. i. 10. 39 

Alcestis, wife of Admetus. She 
consented to die in her husband's 
stead, but was saved by Hercules. 
T. v. 14. 87 ; P. iii. 1. 106 

Alcides, Hercules perhaps the 
hero's earliest name 

Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians. 
He entertained Ulysses, and his 
orchards were famous, P. iv. 
2. 10 

Alcmene. wife of Amphitryon. She 
bore Hercules to Jupiter, who in 
his suit of her had caused the 


night to be doubled in length. 

T. ii. 402 
Alexandria, capital of Egypt, 

founded by Alexander the Great, 

T. i. 2. 79 
Althaea, mother of Meleager. She 

burned the brand on which de- 
pended the life of her son because 

he had slain her brother 
Amazons, a race of female warriors, 

P. iii. 1. 95 
Amor (or Cupido), the god of love, 

often represented as a winged 

boy, T. v. 1. 22 ; P. iii. 8. 9 ft'., etc. 
Amphiaraus, one of the seven 

heroes who attacked Thebes. 

The earth yawned apart and 

engulfed him with his chariot. 

P. iii. I. 52 
Anacreon, a famous Greek lyric 

poet of Teos, Ionia, fl. c. 509 B.C.; 

numerous fragments, T. ii. 364 
Anapus, a Sicilian river flowing 

into the harbour of Syracuse, 

P. ii. 10. 26 
Anchialus, a Greek town on the 

Thracian coast of the Black Sea, 

south of Tomis, T. i. 10. 36 
Anchises, father (by Venus) of 

Aeneas, who bore him from 

burning Troy upon his shoulders, 

T. ii. 299 ; P. i. 1. 88 
Andromache, daughter of Eetion, 

king of Cilician Thebes ; wife of 

Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, 

Ethiopian king; rescued by 

Perseus from a dragon ; wife of 

Perseus, T. ii. 401 
Anser, an Augustan erotic poet. 

T. ii. 435 
Autenor, a Trojan noble, founder 

of Padua, P. iv. 16. 18 
Antigon^, daughter of Oedipus. 

She performed burial rites for her 

brother Polynices although King 

Creon had forbidden it because 

Polynices had attacked his native 

city Thebes. T. iii. 8. 67 
Antilochus, son of Nestor and the 

closest friend (after Patroclus) of 

Achilles, P. ii. 4. 22 
Antimachus, an epic and elegiac 

poet of Colophon (or Claros), 


fl. c. 400 B.C. His most famous 
work, written to console himself 
f>r the loss of his wife, was 
the Lyde\ meagre fragments. 
T. i. 6. 1 

Antiphates, king of the Laestry- 
gomans who ate human flesh, 
P. ii. 2. 114, etc. 

Autonius (Marcus), the triumvir, 
defeated by Augustus at Actiuin, 
P. i. 1. 23 

Anytus, one of the accusers of 
Socrates, T. v. 12. 12 

Aonia, originally a district of 
Boeotia next Phocis, then a 
poetic term for all Boeotia. 
Helicon and the Muses are often 
called "Aonian," T. iv. 10. 89, 

Apelles, the famous painter of Cos, 
4th cent. B.C., who depicted 
Venus wringing the sea water 
from her hair, P. iv. 1. 29 

Apollo (or Phoebus), god of the 
sun, of poetry, etc., 7'. i. 2. r>, etc. 

Appia (via), the first great Roman 
road from Rome to Capua, P . i. 

8. 68 

Aquilo, the Latin name for Boreas, 
the north wind, T. i. 11. 19, etc. 

Arctos, the Great Bear (Ursa 
Maior), a constellation which 
never sets, T. i. 2. 29, etc. 

Arcturus, guardian of ths Bear, a 
stormy constellation, P. ii. 7. 58 

Arcthusa, a nymph beloved by the 
river god Alpheus in Elis 
Changed into a spring she was 
pursued by the god beneath the 
sea to Sicily. P. ii. 10. 27 

Argo, Jason's ship, built by Athene's 
aid, T. ii. 439 

Argolicus, properly "Argive," but 
a general term for "Greek," T. i. 

9. 27, etc. 

Aiiadne, daughter of Minos, king 
of Crete. She aided Theseus to 
penetrate the labyrinth and slay 
the Minotaur, then fled with him 
but was abandoned on the Isle 
of T)ia and wedded by Bacchus. 
The god placed her crown in 
he wen as a constellation- 
Ariadne's orowii, T. v. 3. 42 

Aristaeus, son of Apollo, patron of 
dairying, bee culture, etc., P. iv. 
2. 9 

Aristarchus, the famous Homeric 
critic of Alexandria, 2nd cent. 
B.C., P. Hi. 9. 24 

Anstides (1) the famous Athenian 
statesman, exiled 482 EC., P. i. 
8. 71. (2) The author of the 
Milesian Tales ; very meagre 
fragments of Sisenna's Latin 
translation survive, T. ii. 418, 

Ars, Ovid's Ars amitoria (Art of 
Love), See In trod. p. xix 

A^cra, a Boeotian town, where 
He^iod was born, P. iv. 14. 81 

Atalanta (1) daughter of Schoeneus, 
won by Hippomenes who defeated 
her in a foot-race by the device 
of rolling golden apples in her 
path, T. ii. 399. (2) Daughter ot 
Ta>os, an Arcadian huntress who 
disdained love, but was won by 
Milanion after many hardships 

Athos, a lofty promontory of the 
Macedonian Chalcidice, P. i. 5. 22 

Atia (minor), aunt of Augustus and 
wife of L. Marcius Philippus. P. 
i. 2. 139 

Atlantis, " Atlantian," an epithet 
of the Great Bear because Calhsto 
(the Great Bear) was descended 
from Atlas, T. i. 11. 15 

Atreus, father of Agamemnon and 
Menelaus, P. i. 2. 119. See 

Atticus, a friend to whom Ovid 
addresses P. ii. 4 and ii. 7 ; 
otherwise unknown 

Augustus, the Emperor Augustus 
Caesar, T. i. 2. 102, etc. ; Ovid's 
lost poem on A.'s apotheosis, P. 
iv. 6 18, iv. 9. 181 ; Getic poem 
on A., P. iv. 18. 19. See Introd. 
p. xxviii. Tiberius also was called 
Augustus, P. iv. 9. 70, etc. 

Aurelia, wife of M. Valerius 
Corvinus Messalla, P. ii. 3. 98 

Ausonia, originally a Greek name 
for the land of the Auruncl 
(Auo-oj'e?) ; later a poetic term for 
Latium or even Italy, T. i. 2. 
92, etc. 



Auster, the south wind. See Notus. 

T. i. 10. 33, etc. 
Automedon, the charioteer of 

Achilles, T. v. 6. 10 
Axenus, "inhospitable," an adj. 

applied to the Black Sea(Pontus), 

T. iv. 4. 56 

Babylon, P. ii. 4. 27 

Bacche, a Bacchante, T. iv. 1. 41, 

Bacchus (or Liber, Lyaeus, etc.), 
god of the vine, poetry, etc., T. 
i. 10. 38, etc. 

Ball games, T. ii. 485 

Bassus, an iambic poet, member of 
Ov id's circle (T. iv. 10. 47) ; othei - 
wiseunknown, although attempts 
have been made to identify him 
with Bassus (Propert. i. 4), 01 
with Bassus (Seneca, Controllers. 
x. Praefat. xii.) 

Basternae, a German (or Celtic?) 
people dwelling, in Ovid's time, 
along the Danube from the 
Carpathians to the Black Sea, T. 
ii. 198 

Bato, a Dalmatian chief who fought 
against Home, A.D. 6-9. He 
obtained immunity and was 
allowed to live at Ravenna. P. 11. 
1. 46 

Battiades, "descendant of Battus," 
i.e. Callimachus, T. n. 367, etc. 

Behdes, T. iii. 1 . 62. See Danaides 

Bellerophon, entertained b) 
Pioetus, king of Argos ; rejected 
the advances of Stheneboea, his 
hostess, who in ie\enge accused 
him. The king gave him ovei 
to lobates to slay, but the latter 
not daring to slay him forced 
him to tight the fire-breathing 
Chimaera which he succeeded in 
killing. T. n. 897 

Bessi, a Thracian people d welling on 
the Upper Hebi us, T. iii 10. 5, et r. 

Birthday, Ovid's (at Tom is), . in. 
13 ; iv. 10. 11 ; his wife's, T. v. 5 

Bistonii, a Thracian people of the 
Aegean coast. Ovid uses the 
name as equivalent to "Thraci- 
aris '' ; adj. Bistonius, Bistonis. 
T. i. 10. 23, etc. 


Bittis, the beloved, probably the 
wife, of Philetas, T. i. (i. 2 ; P. 
iii. 1. 58 

Book, description of a Roman book, 
T. i. 1. 1 ff. n., 106 if. ; iii. 1. 

Bootes, Ox- Driver, the star which 
"drives" the seven oxen of the 
Wain (Great Bear), later called 

Boreas, the north wind, adj. Boreus, 
T. i. 2. 29, etc. 

Borysthenes, a river flowing into 
the Black Sea the Dnieper, P. 
iv. 10. 53 

Bosporus, T. ii. 298 ; cf. ui. 4. 49 

Briseis. Bee Achilles 

Brutus, (1) M. Junms, one of the 
leaders of the conspiracy against 
Julius Caesar, and a writer on 
philosophy and rhetoric, P. i. 1. 
24 ; (2) A friend whom Ovid 
addresses, P. i. 1, iii. 9, iv. 6. He 
acted as Ovid's editor ; not other- 
wise known. See Introd. p. xv 

Busiris, an Egyptian king who 
sacrificed strangers to Jupiter, 
T. ni. 11. 39, etc. 

Byzantium, T. i. 10. 81 

Cadmus, son of Agcnor and founder 
of (Hottotian) Thebes, T. iv. 3. 
07, etc. 

Caesar (1) C. Julius, the Dictator, 
P. iv. 8. 03 ; (2) Augustus, T. i. 
1. 30, etc. ; (3) Tiberius, ]'. ii. 8. 
1, etc. ; (4) Geimaiucus, T. ii. 
280, etc. Ovid uses Caesaies, 
"the Caesars," of two or more 
members of the imperial house 

Calarms, an Athenian artist (c. 460 
n. ( .), famous for his work in 
metal, J\ iv. 1. 33 

Gales, probably a Bithynian river 
(south of Heraklein), P. iv. 10. 47 

Callimachus, the famous scholar 
and poet of Alexandria (3rd cent. 
B.C.), \vho claimed descent from 
Battus, founder of Cyrene ; a 
voluminous writer in prose and 
verse. Numerous epigrams and 
some hymns survive, but most 
of his work is now in fragments. 
Catullus, Propertius, and Ovid 


greatly admired him. P. iv. 16. 
82. See also Battiades 

Calliope, the muse of elegiac poetry, 
but often she represents poetry 
in general, T. ii. 568 

Callisto, daughter of the Arcadian 
king, Lycaon. She was changed 
into the constellation of the 
Great Bear 

Calvus, 0. Licinius Macer Calvun 
(82-46 B.C.), famous orator and 
poet, friend of Catullus. He 
was a man of small stature ; few 
fragments, T. ii. 431 

Calydon, an Aetolian town, P. i. 3. 

Calypso, a goddess who fell in love 
with Ulysses and detained him 
on her isle, P. iv. 10. 13 

Camena, a Roman term for Muse, 
P. iv. 13. 33 

Camerinus, an Augustan epic poet, 
P. iv. 16. 1'J; not 

Campania, P. iv. 15. 17 

Campus (Martis), just outside Rome 
(north-west) along the Tiber, the 
great recreation giound of the 
Romans, T. v. 1. 82, etc. 

Canace, daughter of Aeolus, lord of 
the winds. Her love for hor 
brother Macareus was the theme 
Oi Euripides' Aeolus. T. ii. 384 

Capaneus, one of the seven leaders 
who attacked Thebes ; shun by 
the lightning of Zeus, T. iv. 3. 
63, etc. 

Capella, an Augustan poet who 
wrote in elegiac verse, P. iv. 16. 
36 ; not otherwise known 

Caphereus, the northern cape of 
Euboea on which the Greeks 
were wrecked as they were re- 
turning from Troy, T. i. 1. 83 

Capitolium, properly the southern 
summit of the Capitoliue Hill, 
but often used of the whole hill, 
T. i. 8. 29, etc. 

Cams, a friend to whom Ovid 
addresses P. iv. 18, perhaps also 
T. ni. 5. He was a poet (/'. iv. 
13. 12 ; 16. 7) and had charge of 
the education of Germanicus' sons 
(P. iv. 13. 47 f.). See Introd. p. xv 

Caspios Aegisos, the founder of 
Aegisos, P. i. 8. 13 

Cassandra, daughter of Priam, 
priestess and prophetess. Aga- 
memnon took her to Mycenae 
where she was murdered. T. ii. 

Cassandreus, a "Cassandrean,"' i.e. 
resembling Apollodorus, the 
cruel lord of Cassandrea in 
Macedonia, P. ii. <). 43 

Castor, son of JupiterandLeda.twin 
brother of Pollux, T. iv. 5. 30, etc. 

Cato (C. Valerius), Roman gram- 
manan and poet, an older con- 
temporary of Catullus, very 
influential as a teacher, T. ii. 436 

Catullus (C. Valerius), c. 87-c. 54 
B.C., the greatest Roman lyric 
poet. His most famous poems 
are those to Lesbia (Clodia, a 
sister of P. Clodius). T. h. 4^7 

Celsus, one of Ovid's closest friends, 
P. i. 9. (his death), perhaps also 
T. i. 5. 1-44 and iii. 6. See Introd. 
p. xvi 

Cenchreae, the harbour of Corinth 
on the Haronic Gulf, T. i. 10. 9 

Ceraunia (or Acrorerauma), a dan- 
gerous promontory on the 
Adriatic coast of Illyria and 
Epirus, P. n. 6. 9 

Cerberus, the monstrous dog, often 
depicted as three-headed, which 
guarded the entrance to Hades, 
T. iv. 7. 16 

Ceres, goddess of grain, etc. ; adj. 
Cerialis, T. n. 300, etc. 

Chaos, P. iv. 8. 57 

Charybdis, in Homer a whirlpool, 
later a hungry monster supposed 
to inhabit the Sicilian Straits, 
T. v. 2. 73, etc. 

Chess, T. ii. 471 n. 

Chimaera, T. h. 397, etc. See 

Chiron, a centaur who instructed 
Achilles, in hunting, lyre-playing 
etc., P. iii. 3. 43 

Cimbri, a horde of invading 
Teutons, defeated by Marius at 
VercoHae (101 B.C.), P. iv. 3. 45 

Cimrnerii, a people between the 
Danube and the Don probably in 



Ovid's time not near the Danube 
although he calls the region of 
Tomis" Cimmerian," P. iv. 10. 1 

China (G. Helvius), a poet and 
friend of Catullus ; few fragments, 
T. ii. 435 

Cmyphus, a river of Nortli Africa 
flowing into the sea near the 
Syrtes, P. ii. 7. 25 

Circe, a divine sorceress, mother 
(by Ulysses) of Telegonus. She 
transformed some of Ulysses' 
men into swine. P. iii. 1. 123 

Circus (Maximus), the huge circus 
between the Palatine and the 
Aventine, used for pageants, 
races, etc., T. ii. 283, etc. 

Cui^es, T. ii. 191 

Claudia, a Roman matron accused 
of unchastity, who, after an 
oracle had declared that the ship 
bearing the image of Cybele could 
be moved from the shoal on 
which it had grounded only by a 
pure woman, vindicated herself 
by seizing the rope and drawing 
it off, P. \. 2. 142 

Clodia (via). See P. i. 8. 44 n. 

Clytaemestra, wife of Agamemnon. 
During her husband's absence at 
Tioy she became enamoured of 
Acgisthus and slew her husband 
on his return. She was in turn 
slam by her son, Orestes 

Colchi, T. ii. 101 n. 

Colchis. See Medea 

Coralli, a Moesian tiibe dwelling 
near the Danube, P. iv. 2. 37, 

Corinna. See T. iv. 10. 60 n. 

Corinthus. T. iii. 8 4 

Corniftcius, a Roman erotic poet ; 
date uncertain ; very few frag- 
ments, T. ii. 436 

Cotta MaximuH, P. i. 5 and 9 ; 
ii. 3 and 8 ; iii. 2 and 5 ; cf. iv. 
10. 41-44. See Introtl. p. xii 

Cotys, name of several kings of 
Thrace. The one reigning at the 
tin of Ovid's exile was probably 
the son of Rhoemetalces First. 
P. ii. 9 

Croesus, king of Lydia, famed for 
his wealth, defeated and cap- 


tared by Cyrus (6th cent. B.C.), 
T. hi. 7. 42, etc. 

Cupido (or Amor), god of love, T. 
ii. 38/>, etc. See Amor 

Cyane, a playmate of Proserpina. 
Pluto changed her into a spring 
when she resisted his seizure ot 
Proserpina. P. ii. 10. 26 

Cyaneae (insulae), Greek Symple- 
gades, the " clashing rocks," T. 
i. 10. 84 n. , cf. 47 

Cybele (or Rhea), the Great Mother 
(Magna Mater) of the gods, whose 
worship was introduced at Rome 
204 B.C., P. i. 1. 39 

Cyclades, the "encircling isles" 
(with Delos as a centre) in the 
Aegean, T. i. 11. 8 

Cyclopes, the Cyclopes, a race of 
one-eyed giants living in Sicily. 
One of them, Polyphemus, impri- 
soned Ulysses and twelve of his 
men in a cave and devoured six 
of them. Ulysses saved the rest 
by making the giant drunk and 
then blinding him. P. iv. 10. 23 

Cydippe. See Acontius 

Cynapsos, a river whose situation 
is not known, P. iv. 10. 49 

Cyzicus, a town on the Asian shore 
of the Propontis, T. i. 10. 30, n. 

Daedalus, T. iii. 4. 21, etc. See 

Dalmatia, a Roman province border - 
ing the eastern shore of the 
Adriatic, P. n. 2. 70 

Danao, mother of Perseus, T. ii. 

Danaides, the fifty daughters of 
Danaus (or granddaughters of 
Belus, Belulae). They wedded 
the sons of Aegyptus and at the 
command of their father all 
save Hypermnestra slew their 
husbands on the wedding night. 
See T. iii. 1. 62 

Dariaus, "Danaan," originally ap- 

"ied to the people about Argos, 
tera goneral term ("Greek "), 
, P. iv. 7. 41 
Danuvms, the Danube, T. ii. 192, 

etc. Ovid prefers Hister 
Dardania a town on the Asian 


shore of the Hellespont, T. i. 

10. '25 

Dareus (Third), king of Persia. 
Alexander gave him rites of 
burial after he had been murdered 
by his own kin, T. iii. 5. 40 

Deianira, daughter of King Oeneus 
of Aetolia, wife of Hercules, T. 

11. 405 

DHdamia, daughter of Lycomedes, 
king of the Dolopians in Scyros. 
She became (by Achilles) mother 
of Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus). See 
T. ii. 405 

Ddos (or Delia tellus), the Aegean 
isle, birthplace of Apollo, JP. iv. 

Delphi, the holy town of Phocis in 
which was the famous oracle of 
Apollo, T. iv. 8. 43 

Diana (or Phoebe), goddess of the 
moon, the hunt, etc., T. ii. 105, 

Dice. See notes on T. ii. 473 ff. 

Diogenes, the famous Cynic philo- 
sopher (4th cent. B.C.), P. i. 3. 67 

Diomedes, (1) son of Tydeus ; one 
ot the most valiant Greek leadeis 
at Troy, P. ii. 2. 13 ; (2) king of 
the Bistones, who fed his horses 
on human flesh, P. i. 2. 120 

Dionusopolis,atownon theMoesian 
c.oast of the Pontus, south of 
Tom is, T. i. 10. 38 

Dionysius (the Younger), tyrant of 
Syracuse. After his expulsion 
he opened a school at Corinth. 
P. iv. 3. 3D 

Dirge, Ovid's (lost) dirge for 
Messalla, P. i. 7. 30 

Dodona, the oracle of Zeus in 
Epirus, T. iv. 8. 43 

Dolon, a Trojan, son of Eumedes. 
Having served as a spy in the 
Greek camp he asked as his 
reward the horses of Achilles. 
He was slain by Ulysses ana 
Diomed. T. iii. 4. 27 

Doming, a Celtic chieltain, ancestor 
of Vestalis, P. iv. 7. 29 

Draughts. See notes on T. ii. 477 ff. 

DnisiiH (1) surnamcd Germanicus, 
younger son of Livia Augusta by 
her first husband ; father of 

Germanicus, T. iv. 2. 39. (2) Son 
of Tiberius and Vipsania, cousin 
and (through adoption of Ger- 
manicus by Tiberius) brother of 
Germanicus, P. ii. 2. 72 

Dulichium, an isle belonging to 
Ulysses, hence Ulysses and his 
comrades are called " Dulichian," 
T. i. 5. 00, etc. 

Dyrapses, a river in Scythia near 
the Dnieper, P. iv. 10. 53 

Echionius, " Theban," from Echion, 
son-in-law of Cadmus, the 
founder of Thebes, T. v. 5. 53 

Eetion, father of Andromache, T. 
v. 5. 44 

Electra, daughter of Agamemnon 
and Clytaemestra and sister of 
Orestes. She saved Orestes from 
Aegisthus after the murder of 
Agamemnon, was ill-treated by 
him and was forced to marry a 
man of humble station. She 
was the subject of tragedies by 
Sophocles and Euripides ; in T. 
ii. 395 that of Euripides is 
probably meant 

Klegi. See Metre 

Elis, P. ii. 10. 27 

Elpenor, a comrade of Ulysses who 
fell from the roof of Circe's 
palace and broke his neck. 
Ulysses saw his shade later in 
Hades, T. ni. 4. 19 

Emathius, originally applied to the 
Emathian plain, later a poetic 
term for " Macedonian," T. iii. 5. 
39 n. 

Enceladus, one of the Giants who 
attempted to storm heaven by 
piling Mrs. Pelion, Ossa, and 
Olympus on each other. He 
was overthrown by Pallas. P. ii. 
2. 11 

Endymion, the beautiful youth of 
Carian Latinos who was loved by 
Luna (Diana), T. ii. 299 

Ennius (Qumtus), one of the most 
important of early Roman poets 
(289-169 B.C.). His chief work 
was the Awnales, an epic on the 
history of Rome ; numerous frag- 
ments. T. ii. 259, 423 f. 

2 K 



Eons, (1) the dawn (Eos), T. iv. 9. 
22; (2) "eastern," /'. ii. 5. 00, 

Epidaurus, a town in Argolis 
famous for the great precinct of 
Aesculapius, P. i. 3. 21 

Enehthonius, the misshapen son 
of Vulcan, born of that god's 
attempted outrage of Pallas ; 
brought up by Pallas secretly in 
her temple ; in early times identi- 
fied with Erechtheus, the mythi- 
cal king of Athens, T. ii. 294^ etc. 

Erymanthis, "Arcadian," from 
Mt. Erymantlms in Arcadia, 7'. 
i. 4. 1, etc. 

Eteocles: Eteocles and Polynices, 
The ban brothers, slew each other 
in the battle bcfoie Thebes. 
Eteocles was one of the seven 
leaders who defended the city, 
T. v. 5. 34. See Antigone 

Euadne, daughter of Tphis and 
wife of Capaneus. She had her- 
self burned on her husband's 
funeral pyre. T. iv. 3. G4, etc. 

Eubius. See T. ii. 416 n. 

Kumedes, father of Dolon, ,T. iii. 
4. 27 

Eumolpus, a famous Thracian 
singer, son of Poseidon and 
Chione, P. ii. 9. 19 

Kuropa, sister of Cadmus, from 
whom "Europe" is named, P. 
iv. 10. 55 

Eurus, the east, or south-east wind, 
T. i. 2. 27 

Euryalus. See Nisua 

Eurydice. See Orpheus 

Euxmus. The Black Sea was called 
Poritus Euxmus ("hospitable, 
sea ") for purposes of good onu-n. 
7'. iii. 13. 28, etc. See Axenus 

Fabia, Ovid's third wife, T, iv. 10. 

73, P. i. 2, 130, etc. See Introd. 

p. xvii 
Fabius, Paulina Fabius Maximus. 

See Maximus and Introd. p. xn 
(Falerii). See Falisca herba 
Falerna (vina), P. iv. 2. 9 
Falwca (horba), grass "of Falern," 

a town on the Etruscan bank of 

the Tiber north-west of Rome, 


famed for its meadows and cattle, 

P. iv. 4. 32, etc. 
Fasti, Ovid's poem on the calendar, 

7'. ii. 549 
Flattens (L. Pomponius), brother 

of Ovid's friend Graecinus. He 

served in Moesia about A.D. 15 

(cf. P. iv. 9. 75 ff.), and again as 

governor A.D. 18 or 19. See Introd. 

p. xin 

Flammia (via). See P. i. 8. 44 n. 
Fontanus, an Augustan bucolic 

poet, P. iv. 16. 35 
Fortuna, goddess of fortune, T. i. 

1. 51, etc. 
Fundi (Fundanum soluin), a town 

on the Via Appia in southern 

Latium, P. ii. 11. 28 
Furiae, the Furies, 7'. iv. 4. 70 

Gallio (L. Junius), a rhetorician, 
friend of Ovid's, P. iv. 11. See 
Introd. p. xv 

Callus (C. Cornelius), an Augustan 
eU' famed for his poems to 
Lycoris (only one line extant). 
He incurred the disfavour of 
Augustus, was exiled, and com- 
mitted suicide. T. ii. 445 ; iv. 10. 
53 ; v. 1. 17 

Ganges, T. v. 3. 23 

Ganymede, the beautiful Ilian boy 
who was carried off by Jupiter 
who had a.sMimed the form of an 
eagle, 7'. ii. 400 

Germania, 7'. ii. 229, etc. 

Germanicus, son of the elder 
Drusus and adopted son of 
Tiberius ; husband of Agnppina 
(granddaughter of Augustus), P. 
n. 1. 49, etc. See Introd. pp. 

Geryon, a monster with a triple 
body whose cattle Hercules 
drove away 

Getae (adj. Geticus). See Introd. 
p xxvi 

G igantes, the Giants who attempted 
to storm heaven and were hurled 
down by Jove's thunderbolt, 7'. 
ii. 333, etc. 

Gorgo, T. iv. 7. 12. See Medusa 

Giaccus, probably Ti. Sempronius 
Graccus, a clever but degenerate 


descendant of the groat Gracci. 
He wrote tragedies; few frag- 
ments. P. iv. 10. 31 

Graecinus (P. Pompomus). See 
fntrod. p. xiii 

Grattius, an Augustan poet who 
wrote a poem on hunting (extant) 
and bucolics (now lost), P. iv. 
10. 34 ff. 

Gyas, one of the Gigantes, T. iv. 
7. 18 

TTadria, the Adriatic, T. i. 11. 4 

Haedi. See T. i. 11. 13n. 

Haemon, son of Croon, king of 
Thebes. He slew himself at the 
death of Antigone, his betrothed. 
T. ii. 402 

Haemonia, Thessaly, from Harmon, 
father of Thessaloa; adj. Hne- 
monius, " Thessahan," P. i. 3. 7'>, 

Haemus, a Thracian mountain 
range, P. iv. 5. 5 

Ilalcyone, wife of Ceyx, changed 
into a bird (a kingfisher, according 
to Ovid) because she dared to call 
her husband Jupiter, T. v. 1. GO 

Halys, a large river flowing through 
central Asia Minor into the 
Pontus, P. iv. 10. 48 

Harpyia, a monster with a bird's 
body and the head of a maiden, 
T. iv. 7. 17 

Hebrus, the chief river of Thiace, 
/'. i. 5. 21 

Hnetor, son of Priam, husband of 
Andromache, and father oi 
Astyanax ; best warrior of the 
Trojans ; led the attack on the 
Greek ships, many of which he 
burned, lie slew Patroclus and 
was himself slam in vengeance by 
Achilles, who dragged him behind 
his chariot, but yielded up Ins 
body for burial on the entreaties 
of Priam. T. i. 6. 19, etc. 

Helicon, a Boeotian mountain, a 
favourite abode of the Muses, 
T. iv. 1. 50, etc-. 

Helle, granddaughter of Aeolus, 
daughter of Athamas. She fell 
from the back of the gold-fleeced 
ram into the waters which were 

named from her the Hellespont. 
T. i. 10. 15, etc. 

Hemitheon, the probable author 
of the tfyhv itica, " Tales of 
By bans," T. ii. 417 

Heniochi, a people Sarmatian ap- 
parentlywho practised piracy, 
P. iv. 10. 2(5 

Henna, a town in central Sicily, 
P. ii. 10. 25 

Hercules, son of Jupiter (Zeus) and 
Alcmena ; also called Alcides, T. 
ii. 405, etc. 

Ilerrmouo, daughter of Menelaus 
and Helen and niece of Castor 
and Pollux, betrothed at Troy 
to Neoptolemus, who, returning 
to Greece, found her betrothed 
(or mairied) to Orestes. When 
Ntoptolemus demanded her he 
was slain by Orestes. T. ii. 899, 

llesiodus, the early Greek poet 
(c. 700 B.C.) of Ascra in Boeotia. 
To him ate attributed the Thro- 
yony, Works and Days, and Shield 
of Hercules, P, iv. 14. 32, etc. 

Hfispenus, " of the evening," west- 
ern, hence Hespena, the West, 
often applied to Italy, T. iv. 9. 22 

Hippocrene, P. iv. 8. 80, n. 

Hippodamia, daughter of Oeno- 
maus, king of Pisa. Pelops de- 
feated Ottomans in a chariot race 
and carried off Hippodamia. T. 
n. 3SC, 

Hippolytus, the son of Theseus. 
The love of his stepmother Phae- 
dra for him is the theme of Euri- 
pides' Hippolytiis. T. n. 383 

Hister, the Danube, also called 
Danuvius, T. ii. 1S9, etc. 

Homerus, the great Greek epic 
poet, T. ii. 379, etc. 

Hoop, T. ii. 48G 

Horatius, Q. Horatius Flaccus 
(G5-8 B.C.), one of the greatest of 
Augustan poets, T. iv. 10. 49 

Hortensius (Q.), the famous orator 
and rival of Cicero. He also 
dabbled in erotic poetry (one 
word extant). T. ii. 441 

Hyades, a constellation that caused 
i-aiu, T. 1. 11. 10 



Hybla, a Sicilian town (near Syra- 
cuse) famed for honey, T. v. 6. 88 

Hylas, a beautiful boy, beloved by 
Hercules, who was stolen by 
nymphs when the Argonauts 
landed near the Ascanius river, 
T. ii. 406 

Hymenaeua (or Hymen), god of 
marriage, P. i. 2. 131 

Hypanis, a Sarmatian river, now 
the Bug, P. iv. 10. 47 

Hyrtacides. See Nisus 

lasion, father (by Ceres) of Plutus, 

T. ii. 800 
lazyges, Sarmatian tribe dwelling 

near the Danube, P. i. 2. 77, etc. 
Icariotis. See Penelope 
Icarius, father of Pfnelope, T, v. 

5. 44, etc. 
Icarus, son of Daedalus, who 

perished by falling into the 

(learian) sea as he and Daedalus 

were flying from Crete on the 

wings his father had made, T. 

i. 1. 90, etc. 
Idaei (modi), so called from Idaeus 

who founded on Mt. Ida the rites 

of Cybele, T. iv. 1. 42 
Ilia (or Rhea Pi 1 via), the Vestal 

who bore to Mars Romulus and 

Remus, T. ii. 200 

Iliacus, " Ilian," hence "Trojan " 
Iliades, "son of Ilia," i.e. Remus, 

T. iv. 3. 8 

Ilias, the Iliad, T. ii. 371, etc. 
Illyria (or Illyris), the district along 

the east coast of the Adriatic, 

T. i. 4. 10, etc. 
Ilva, Elba, also called Aethale or 

Aethalia, P. ii. 8. 84 
Imbros, an Aegean isle, T. i. 10. 18 
Indieus (or Indus), " Indian," P. 

i. 5. 80, etc. 
lole, daughter of King Eurytus of 

Oechalia whom Heicules carried 

otf after slaying her father, 7'. 

ii. 405 
Ionium (mare), the Ionian Sea, 

between Greece and southern 

Italy, T. i. 4. 3, etc. 
Iphiag, "daughter of Iphis," i.e. 

Euadne, P. iii. 1. Ill 
Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon 


and sister of Orestes. Agamem- 
non was ordered to sacrilice her 
at Aulis in order to appease the 
gods, but Diana substituted a 
hind and transported Iphigenia 
to the land of the Taurians. T. 
iv. 4. 63 ff. ; P. iii. 2. 43 it 1 . 

Irus, the Ithacan beggar with 
whom Ulysses had a boxing 
match on his return home in 
disguise, T. iii. 7. 42 

Isis, the Egyptian goddess, identi- 
fied in Ovid with lo, who was be- 
loved by Jupiter and in the form 
of a heifer was driven about the 
world by the jealousy of Juno, 
T. ii. 297 

Isthmos (of Corinth), T. i. 11. 5; 
P. iv. 10. SO 

Italia, T. i. 4. 20; iii. 12. 37; adj. 
1 talus 

Ithaco, the isle of Ithaca, home of 
Ulysses, usually identified with 
Thiaki, T. i. 5. 67 

Itys, T. ii. 890. See Tereus 

lulus (or Ascanius), son of Aeneas, 
from whom the Julii claimed 
descent, P. ii. 2. 21 ; adj. luleus 

Ivory, c/. Numidae dentis, P. iv. 
9. 28 

Janus, god of passage-ways (doors, 
etc.), beginnings, etc., repre- 
sented with two faces, P. iv. 4. 
23, etc. 

.Jason, son of Aeson, leader of the 
Argonauts, P. i. 4. 86, etc. See 

Jugurtha, the Numidian king, 
conquered by Marius, died in 
prison at Rome (104 B.C.), P. iv. 
8. 45 

Juno, wife of Jupiter and chief 
among the Olympian goddesses, 
corresponding to the Creek Hera, 
T. ii. 291, etc. 

Jupiter (or Juppiter), ruler of the 
gods, corresponding to the Greek 
Zeus, T. i. 1. 81, etc. Many 
epithets, e.g. Stator, T. iii. 1. 82 

Juventa (or -as), an old Roman 
goddess, later identified (as in 
Ovid) with the Greek Hebe, the 
servitor of the gods, P. i. 10. 12 


Lacedaemon (or Sparta), P. i. 3. 71 ! 
Lachesis. See T. v. 10. 45 n. 
Laertes, father of Ulysses, T. v. 5. 3 
Laestrygon (adj.). The Laestry- 
gonians were a race of cannibals 
in whoso land great disasters 
befell Ulysses. P. ii. 9. 41, etc. 
Lampsacus, a town on the Asiatic 
shoro of the Hellespont, T. i. 
10. 28 

Lares, beneficent spirits watching 
over the tields, the public 
domain, the household, etc. 
Each house had a Laranum in 
which the image of the Lar was 
kept. The Lares are often men- 
tioned with the Penates (strictly 
guardians of the larder). Lar 
often stands for " home." T. i. 3. 
80, etc. 

Largus, an Augustan poet who 
wrote an epic on An tenor's 
wanderings, and final settlement 
near the Po (sometimes identi- 
fied with Valerius Largus, the 
accuser of Cornelius Gallus), P. 
iv. 1<>. 17 
Latium, the district in which Rome 

lies, T. iv. 2. <K, etc. 
Latona (or Leto), mother (by 
Jupiter) of Apollo and Diana; 
adj. Lfitoius, 7'. iii. 2. 3, etc. 
Laodamia, wife of Protesilaus, the 
first Greek to fall on Trqjan soil. 
Ho begged a day's release from 
Hades in order to be with her, 
and she slew herself in order to 
be his companion even in death. 
T. i. 6. 20, etc. 

Leander, who perished while 
swimming the Hellespont from 
Abydostohis sweetheart Hero at 
Sestoa, T. iii. 10. 41 
Lemnos, a large island m the 
Thraciau (north Aegean) Sea, T. 
v. 1. 62 
Lesbia, Catullus' name for his 

sweetheart Clodia, T. ii. 428 
Lesbos, a large island in the north- 
eastern Aegean near Asia, T. n. 
365, etc. 

Lethe, a river of Hades, a draught 
of whose water brought forget- 
fulness, T. iv. 1. 47 

Leucadia, a large island in the 
Ionian Sea near Acharnania, T. 
iii. 1. 42 n. 

Leucothea. Ino, wife of Athamas, 
threw herself into the sea and 
was changed into the sea goddess 
Leucothea, P. iii. 6. 20 
Liber. See Bacchus 
Libertas, The Atrium Libertatis 
(north of the Forum) was where 
library, T. iii. 1. 72 
Libya, coast district of North 
Africa, west of Egypt, T. i. 3. 19, 

Li via (Augusta), the empress (58 
B.C.-A.D. 29). Her first husband 
was Ti. Claudius Nero to whom 
she bore Tiberius (later emperor) 
and Drusus (father of Germani- 
cus). She ma rued Octavianus 
(Augustus) 38 B c. T. ii. 1(31, etc. 
Lixus, a river ; location uncertain, 

P. i. 5. 21 
Lucifer, the morning-star, T. i. 3. 

72, rtc. 

Lucretius, T. Lucr. Carus (o. 95-c. 

54 B.C.), the greatest Roman 

didactic poet ; author of the De 

rerum natiLra. T. ii. 4'25 

Luna, goddess of the moon, T. i. 3. 

28. 3ee Diana 

Lupus, an Augustan poet who 

wrote on the home-coming of 

Menelaus and Helen, P. iv. 16. 26 

Lyaeus. See Bacchus 

Lycaon, the Arcadian (Parrhasian) 

king whose daughter Callisto 

was changed into the (Jmit Bear ; 

hence the pole is called "Ly- 

caonian " or " Parrhasian," T. iii. 

2. 2 ; 2. 190 

Lycons, mistress of Cornelius 
Gallus, T. ii. 445. (Probably a 

Lycurgus/the Thracian king who 
tried to cut down the vines in- 
troduced by Bacchus and was 
driven mad by the god so that 
imagining his own foot to be a 
vine he hewed it with an axe, T. 
v. 3. 39 

Lycus. (1) a river in Bithynia ; (2) 
another in Pontus, P. iv. 10. 47. 



It is uncertain which Ovid 
Lyde. See Antimachus 

Macer, (1) Aemilius M., a poet who 
wrote of birds, serpents, plants, 
etc. ; he was an old man in 
Ovid's youth, T. iv. 10. 43. (2) 
Pom pei us M., an epic poet who 
wrote on parts of the Trojan 
cycle which preceded the action 
of the livid ; probably the same 
as the Macer who travelled with 
Ovid in Sicily and was related to 
his wife, P. ii. 10. 10 ff. ; iv. 16. 

Machaon, P. iii. 4. 7. See Poda- 

Maenahs, "Maenalian." The Great 
Bear is so called from ML. 
Maenalus in Arcadia because 
Callisto (the Bear) was, before 
her transformation, an Arcadian. 
7'. in. 11. 8 

Maeonides, Homer, so called from 
Maoonia, a name for Lydia, where 
according to one story he was 
born, or because his father was 
Maion ; adj. Maeouius, T. i. 1. 
47, etc. 

Maeotia, "Maeotian," a term ap- 
plied to the kingdom of Thoas 
from the Maeotes who dwelt 
near the Sea of Azof, P. iii. 2. 
59 ; used as a general term for 
the region of the Pontus, T. iii. 

Manes, the di manes, i.e. "good 
deities," a general term for the 
pods of the lower world and 
(later) for the shades of the dead 
who were regarded as divine. T. 
i. 9. 31, etc. 

Marcia, daughter of L. Marcius 
Philippus and wife of Paullus 
Fabius Maxim us, P. i. 2. 138 n. 

Marius, (1) C. Marius, seven times 
consul, conqueror of the Cimbri, 
Jugurtha, etc. When Sulla en- 
tered Rome (88 B.C.) Marius hid 
in the marshes of Minturnae 
and later ebcaped to Africa, P. 
iv. 3. 47. (2) An Augustan poet, 
otherwise unknown, P. iv. 16. 


Mars, god of war, often used for 
"war," "battle," T. ii. 295, etc. 

Marsus (Domitius), an Augustan 
poet famed chiefly for epigrams, 
two or three of which survive, 
P. iv. 16. 5 

Marsyas, a Phrygian satyr, inven- 
tor of the flute and teacher of the 
famous flute-player Olympus, P. 
in. 3. 42 n. 

Maximus (1) M. Aurelius Cotta 
Max. See In trod. p. xii. (2) 
Paullus Fabius Max. See In trod, 
pp. xii-xiii 

Medea, daughter of Aeetes, king 
of Colchis, fell in love with Jason 
when he came to Colchis in quest 
of the Golden Fleece, and aided 
him by her enchantments to 
escape with it. Later when 
Jason abandoned her she slew 
their two children and fled in a 
car drawn by winged dragons. 
Ovid's lost tragedy was a Medea. 
T. iii. 8. 3, ii. 553, etc. 

Medusa, one of the Gorgons, a 
glance at whose face turned the 
beholder to stone, T. iv. 7. 11, etc. 

Melanthus, a river in Pontus (or 
Sarmatia?), P. iv. 10. 54 

Mehssus (C.), a freedman of 
Maecenas, grammarian, poet, 
librarian. He wrote Trabeatae, 
comedies of Roman manners, in 
which he seems to have dealt 
with the life of the upper classes, 
thus developing an Augustan 
form of the old Togatae. P. iv. 
16. 30 

Memmius, probably C. Memm., 
praetor 58 B.C., to whom Lucre- 
tius dedicated the De rerum 
natura and with whom Catullus 
went to Bithynia (57 B.C.). He 
wrote love poetry (one line 
extant). T. ii. 433 

Meiunon, son of Aurora, goddess of 
the dawn, P. i. 4. 07 

Meriander, an Athenian, the most 
famous writer of New Comedy 
(t c. 292 B.C.), extensive frag- 
ments. He was very popular at 
Rome. T. ii. 309 

Merops. See Phaethon 


Mesembria, a town on the Thracian 
coast of the Pontus south of 
Tomis, T. i. 10. 37 

Messalmus (M. Valerius Messalla 
Corvmus or Messalinus), o'der 
son of the following, P. \. 7 ; n. 
2. See In trod. p. xu 

Messalla(M. Valerius Corvinus), the 
great solrlier, statesman, and 
patron of literature (c. 65 B.C.-C. 
A.D. 8), P. ii. 3. 78 ff. ; i. 7. 27 ff. 
(Ovid's epicede for him), ii. 2. 61, 

Metamorphoses, Ovid's hexameter 
poem on transformations, T. i. 
7. 13; ii. 63 and 5. r >5; in. 14. 19. 
Sde Introd. p. xxiv 

Metellus, T. ii. 438. See Perilla 

Metre (elegiac), T. i. 1.16; ii. 220; 
in. 1. 11 f.; P. ii. 5. 1; ni. 3. 30; 
iii. 4. 85 f. ; iv. 16. 11 i., 3d etc. 

Metrodorus, of Hkepsm in Mysia; 
a philosopher and statesman who 
served Mithradates En pa tor (c. 
100 B.C.). He hated Rome so 
fiercely that he was called the 
' Rome Hater." P. iv. 14. 38 

Mettus (or Met/tins) Fufetius, an 
Alban commander who for his 
treachery to Rome in the war 
with Fidenae was bound to teams 
of horses, at the command of 
Tullus Hostilius, and torn apart, 
T. i. 3. 75 

Milesian tales. See Aristides (2) 

Miletus, T. m. 9. 8 ; 1. 10. 41 n. 

Mimi, "Mimes," short, farcical 
dramatic pieces, presented with 
much gesticulation ; often \ ery 
coarse. They were popular at 
Rome, but only fragments sur- 
vive. T. ii. 497 ff. 

Minerva, Roman counterpart of 
Pallas Athene, goddess of war, 
handicraft (weaving, etc.), wis- 
dom, etc. 7*. i. 2. 10, etc. 

Minotaur, the monster half bull, 
half man which Minos enclosed 
in the labyi inth ; offspring of 
Pasiphae. T. iv. 7. 18 

Minyae, a name for the Argonauts 
because many of them were of 
the race of Minyas in Thessaly 
and Boeotia. T. iii. 9. 13 

Montanus, an Augustan epic and 
elogiacpoet tolerabilispoet f i(&Qn. 
Ep. 122); two fragments, P. iv. 
16. 11 

Mulciber, the " Melter," a name of 
Vulcan, god of lire and the forge, 
T. i. 2. 5 

Musae, the Muses, patronesses of 
poetry, music, etc., nine in 
all, of whom Ovid mentions in 
the T. and P. only Calliope and 
Thalia. Musa stands often for 
"poetry," "poetic inspiration," 

Myron, of Eleutherae, one of the 
greatest Greek sculptors (c. 
450 B.r.) ; the cow is his most 
frequently mentioned work. P. 
iv. I. 34 

Mysiae gentes, a name used vaguely 
in Ovid's time for the tribes 
along the north side oi Mt. 
Haemus (more often spelled 
Moesiae), P. iv. 9. 77 

Mysus (dux). See Telephus 

Naides, nymphs. P. iv. 16. 35 

Naso, Ovid always so names him- 
self, T. i. 7. 10, etc. 

Na talus, the Genius (Genius and 
Natalis mean the same and are 
not used in one phrase), the spirit- 
ual counterpart of every man who 
watched over him, worshipped 
especially on the birthday the 
Birthday God. T. iii. 13. 2 n.; c/. 
v. 5. 1 and i:i 

Neptunus, god of the sea, 2'. i. 2. 

9, etc. 

Ncritus, T. i. 5. 57 n. 

Nestor, king of Pylos, the oldest of 

the Greek leaders at Troy, P. i. 

Nilus, the Nile, T. i. 2. 80; P. iv. 

10. 58 

Niobo, daughter of Tantalus and 
wife of Amphion, king of Thebes. 
Proud of her numerous child- 
ren she ventured to compare 
herself with Latona who had 
only two, Apollo and Diana. 
The angered gods slew Niobe's 
children, and she herself after 
many days of weeping was 



changed to stone. T. v. 1. 57, 

Nireus, P. iv. 13. 10 n. 

NIsus, son of Hyrtacus. N. and 
Buryalus, followers of Aeneas, 
were famed for their devoted 
friendship. Having penetrated 
the camp of Turnus both fell 
because neither would 'abandon 
the other. T. i. 5. 24, etc. 

Nptus, the South wind. The name 
implies moisture whereas Auster 
implies heat, but both were used 
as general terms. T. i. 2. 15, 

Nox, goddess of night, P. i. 2. 54 

Numa, (1) the second king of Rome 
who was said to have boon a 
pupil of Pythagoras, P. ni. 3. 
44. etc. (2) An Augustan poet 
known only from P. iv. 16. 10 

Odesos, a town on the Thracian 
coast of the Poi tus. now Varna, 
T. i. 10. 37 

Odrysii (or Odrysae), a Thracian 
people who once held sway as 
far east as the delta of the 
Danube, P. i. 8. 15 

Odyssea, the Odyssey, Homer's 
epic, T. ii. 375 

Ochalia, the city of King Eurytus, 
captured by Hercules ; site un- 
certain. P. iv. 8. 62 n. 

Oedipus, king of Thebes, who un- 
wittingly slew Lams, his own 
fether, T. i. 1. 114 

Olympias, an Olympiad, P. iv. 6. 
5 n. 

Olympus, a famous flute-player, P. 
iii. 3. 42. See Marsyas 

Ops, goddess of agricultural abun- 
dance, T. ii. 24 

Opus, capital of the Opuntian 
Locriaus, P. i. 8. 73 

Orestes, son of Agamemnon and 
Clytaemestra. He slew his 
mother to avenge his father 
whom she and Aegisthus had 
murdered, was persecuted by the 
Furies, and driven over the 
world until he gained release at 
the Court of the Areopagus in 
Athens. Pylades, of Phocis, his 


faithful friend, shared his wan- 
derings, In the course of which 
they rescued I phi gen ia from her 
position as priestess among the 
Taurians. T. i. 5. 22, etc. 

Orpheus, the famous Thracian 
bard whose song caused even 
trees and rocks to follow him. 
When Burydice, his wife, died 
from a serpent's bite, Orpheus 
visited the lower world and at 
his entreaty Pluto allowed Bury- 
dice to return to the upper 
world on condition that Orpheus 
should not look back at her dur- 
ing the journey. He disobeyed 
and death a second time claimed 
Eurydice. P. ii. 9. 53, etc. 

Ossa, a mountain in Thessaly, P. 
ii. 2. 9 

Paelignt, the Italian people in 
whose capital (Sulmo) Ovid was 
born, P. i. 8. 42; iv. 14. 49 

Pa^ones, the Pannonians, a group of 
Illyrian tribes south and west of 
the great bend of the Danube ; 
organized as a province c. A.D. 10. 
P. ii. 2. 75 

Paestum, an old city (the Greek 
Posidonia) on the Lucanian coast, 
south of Salenmm, P. ii. 4. 28 

Palatium, the Palatine Hill, on 
which Augustus resided, T. i. 1. 
69, etc. 

Palicus, one of the guardian deities 
of sulphurous springs in Sicily, 
between Syracuse and Henna, 
P. ii. 10. 25 

Palinurus,the helmsman of Aeneas, 
who foil into the sea while asleep 
and was drowned, T. v. 6. 7 

Pallas. See Minerva 

P.indion, P. i. 8. 89 n. 

Pannonia, T. ii. 225. See Paeones 

Parcae, the Fates Clotho, 
Lachosis, Atropos who presided 
over destiny, T. v. 3. 14, etc. 
See Lachesis 

Parrhasius. See Lycaon 

Farthenius, a river in eastern 
Bithynia, flows into the Pontus> 
P. iv. 10. 49 

Parthua, Parthian, T. ii. 228 


Passer, an Augustan poet (?), P. iv. 
16. 83 n. 

Patroclus, son of Menoetius and 
grandson of Actor, the demoted 
friend of Achilles ; slain by 
Hector. P. i. S. 73, etc. 

Pedo. See Albmovanus 

Pegasus, the winged steed of 
Bellerophon, born from the 
Gorgon Medusa's blood. With 
a beat of his hoof he created 
Hippocrene (the Steed's Spring), 
on Mt. Helicon. T. iii. 7. 15, etc. 

Pelasgi, " Greeks," originally the 
name of a Thessalian people, T. 
ii. 403 

Pelias, a Thessalian who took 
lolkos from his half-brother 
Aeson, and sent the latter's son 
Jason in quest of the golden 
floece, T. ii. 408, etc. 

Pelion, a Thessalmn mountain, P. 
ii. 2. 9. See Gigantes 

Pelops, son of Tantalus, whom his 
father slew and served up at 
table to the gods. The gods 
restored him to life giving him 
an ivory shoulder in place of that 
injured by the bite of Ceres. 
Later he carried off Hippodamia, 
(laughter of King Oonomans of 
Pisa, after he hnd defeated the 
latter in a chariot race. T. ii. 
8S5, etc. 

Penates. See Lares 

Penelope, daughter of Icarius and 
wife of Ulysses, q,v. 

Penius, a river in Colchis. P. iv 10. 

Pentheus, king of Thebes, who 
disturbed the orgies of Bacchus 
and was torn to pieces by the 
devotees, among whom was his 
mother Agave, T. v. 3. 40 

Perilla, (1) pseudonym of Metella, 
mistress of Tici da, T. ii. 437-438 TI. ; 
(2) Ovid's Htepdaughter, the 
daughter of his third wife, T. iii. 

Perillus. Bee Phalaris 
Perseis, an epic on Perseus 
Perseus, son of Jupiter and Dana'e. 
He slew the Gorgon Medusa by 
the aid of the helmet of invisi- 

bility, the winged sandals, etc., 
which he obtained from the 
nymphs. 7'. iii. 8. 6 

Persia, T. v. 3. 23 

Phaeacia. See Alcinous and P. iv. 
12. -27 11. 

Phaethon, son of Helios (Sol, the 
sun god), and Clymene (whose 
husband was Merops). His 
father promised that whatever 
request he should make would 
be granted and he as ted per- 
mission to drive the chariot of 
the sun. In spite of the god's 
warning he inaibte-d and was 
hurled into the Po. His grieving 
sisters, the Heliads, were changed 
into poplars. P. i. 2. 32, etc. 

Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum, T. 
iii. 11. 39 ff. 

Pharos, P. i. 1. 38 r. 

Phasis, a river in Colchis, the land 
of the Golden Fleece. Medea is 
called "the Phasian" (PhaRiaR). 
P. iii. 3. 80 

Pheiae, P. ii. 9. 43 n. 

Phidias, the famous Athenian 
sculptor (5th cent. B.C.) who 
made the gold and ivory statue 
of Pallas for the Parthenon, P. 
iv. 1. 32 

Philetns, of COR, a Greek gram- 
marian and poet (c. 300 B.C. and 
later), famed for elegy (few 
fragments). His poems (or a 
poem) to Bittis, his wife or 
sweetheart, were especially cele- 
brated. T. i. 6. 2, etc. 

Philippus I., king of Macedonia, 
P. iv. 15. 15 

Philoctetes, son of Poeas, the 
famous archer, set out for Troy 
but was left at Lemnos suffering 
from a serpent's bite. He was 
brought to Troy in the 10th year 
of the war, because the city could 
not be captured without his 
arrows, and was healed by 
Machaon. T. v. 1. 61, etc. 

Phinens, son of Agenor; freed by 
the Argonauts from the Harpies 
he gave them advice concerning 
their voyage, P. i. 4. 37 

Phoebe, a name for Diana as the 



female counterpart of Phoebus, 
P. iii. 2. 64 

Phrygia, the district of north- 
western Asia Minor in which lay 
Troy ; hence Phrygius means 
olten "Trojan," P. i. 1. 45, etc. 

Phyllis, (1) a character in Vergil's 
Bucolics, T. ii. 587 ; (2) the title 
of a poem by Tuscus, P. iv. 16. 20 

Piacches, a chieftain of some wild 
tribe near Tomis, P. iv. 10. 23 

Piendes, the Muses, so called from 
the Pierian district on Mt. 
Olympus, one of their favourite 
haunts ; adj. Pierius. T. iii. 2. 3, 

Pindar, the famous lyric poet of 
Boeotian Thebes (t after 442 B.C.), 
P. iv. 16. 28 

Pireue, the celebrated spring at 
Corinth, P. i. 3. 75 

Pirithous. Soe Theseus 

Pisa, the district of Elis in which 
lay Olympia, often synonymous 
with Ehs, T. 11. 3SC, etc. 

Pleiades, a constellation of seven 
star* whose rising m the spring 
and setting in the autumn weie 
supposed to mark the beginning 
and end of navigation each year, 
/'. i. 5. 82, etc. See Sterope 

Pluto, god of the lower world, T. i. 
9. 32 

Podahrius, son of Aesculapius. 
He und Machaon were the chief 
physicians in the Greek host 
be fore Troy. T. v. 6. 11 

Polymces. See Eteocles 

Polyphemus, P. n. 2. 113. See 

Pompoms, (1) Cn. Pompcius 
Magnus, the triumvir, P. iv. 3. 
41 ; (2) Sex. Pompoms, a patron 
of Ovid, P. iv. 1, iv. 4, iv. 5, 
iv. 15. See Introd. p. xiii 

Ponticus, an epic poet, member of 
Ovid's circle; probably the same 
as the Ponticus of Propert. i. 7 
and 9 ; T. iv. 10. 47 

Pontus, the Black Sea, originally 
called inhospitable (aeiro, 
axenus) because of its storms 
and the barbarous tribes on its 
coasts, later hospitable (eyfetvo, 


euxinus), an euphemism. Ovid 
also calls the region in which 
Tonns lay, Pontus. T. \, 2. 83, etc. 

Porus, an Indian chieftain whom 
Alexander conquered hut treated 
generously, T. ui. v. 89 

Priamus, king of Troy, T. v. 1. 55, 
etc. See Hector 

Priapus, god of iertility, especially 
honoured at Lampsacus on the 
Hellespont, T. i. 10. 26 

Prisci, two Augustan poets referred 
to in P. iv. 16. 10. One was 
probably Clutonus Prisons who 
was later (A.D. 21) put to death 
for having read to a circle of 
ladies a poem in which he 
lamented the death of Drusus 
while Drusus was still alive. The 
other Priscus is not known from 
other sources 

Procne, T. in. 12. 9, etc. See 

Proculus, an Augustan erotic poet 
who imitated Callimachus, 1\ iv. 
1C). 82 

Propertius (Sex. Aurelius), one of 
Home's best elegiac poets (c. 49- 
r. 15 B.C.). Ovid often refers to 
him and considered him his 
immediate predecessor. T. li. 
465; iv. 10. 51 fl. cf, 45 f. 

Propontis, the Sea of Marmora, T. 
i. 10. 29, etc. 

Protesilaus, grandson of Phylacus. 
Seo Laoduniia 

Py lades, of Phocis, son of Strophius, 
'T. i. 9. 2S, etc. Bee Orestes 

Pylos, the isle of which Nestor was 
king, T. v. 5. 62, etc. 

Pyrrhus (or Neoplolemus), son oi 
Achilles and Deidunua, T. ii. 40, r > 

Pythagoras, the learned sage of 
Samos (6th cent. B.C.), T. lii. 3. 
62, etc. See Numa 

Quirinus, an ancient Sabine deity, 
identified with Romulus after 
the latter's apotheosis, 7'. i. 8. 
83, etc. 

RabiriuB, an Augustan epic poet 
who wrote of the fate of Antony ; 
few fragments, P. iv. 16. 6 


Raetia, the district north of Verona 
from the Alps to Vindelicia on 
the north, Helvetia on the west 
and Noricum on the east, T. ii. 

Remus, son of Mars and Ilia hence 
Iliades ; twin brother of Romu- 
lus, T. iv. 3. 8 

Rhamnusia, Nemesis, T. v. 8. 9 n. 

Rhenus, the Rhine, T. iv. 2. 42, 

Rhoemetalces, father of Cotys. 
He may be referred to P. i. 8. 
16 flf. ; iv. 7. 25 ff., but more 
probably Cotys is meant. See 

Roma. T. i. 1. 57, etc. 

Ruilnus, a friend whom Ovid ad- 
dresses, P. i. 3 ; ih. 4. Nothing is 
known of him from other sources 

Rufus, (1) a friend of Ovid's ad- 
dressed P. ii. 11. He was an 
uncle of the poet's wife and a 
native of Fundi ; (2) an Augustan 
poet who imitated Pindar ; per- 
haps identical with the Titius of 
Horace, Kpis. i. 3. 9. r. iv. 16. 28 

Rutiiiua, P. RutilniH Rufus, a 
friend of Scipio Aemihanus and 
con. 105 B.C., P. i. 3. 63 n. 

Rutuli, T. 1.5. 23. See Turnus 

yabimm, an Augustan epic and 
elegiac poet. He wrote answers 
to some of the love letters oi 
Ovid's Heroides, ff. Am. ii. 18. 
19 ff., perhaps a poem on the 
calendar (P. iv. 16. 15 f.), and a 
Troosmis, c/. P. iv. 16. 13 n. 

Sagaris, a river flowing into the 
Black Sea; location uncertain, 
P. iv. 10. 47 

Salanus, a friend whom Ovid ad- 
dresses, P. ii. 5. He was a friend 
of Germanicus, and apparently 
coached that prince in oratory 

Samos, (1) an Aegean island, T. lii. 
3. 62 ; also spelled Same, T. i. 
5. 67 n. ; (2) (Threicia), i.e. Samo- 
thrace, T. i. 10. 20 

Sappho, the famous Lesbian poetess 
(c. 600 B.C.), T. ii. 365 f. 

Sarmatia, a general name for Europe 
east of the Carpathians and north 

of the Black Sea. It included 
many tribes. Ovid often calls 
the region of Tomis "Sarma- 
tian." T. i. 2. 82, etc. 

Saturnia, a name for Juno, daughter 
of Saturn, T. i. 2. 7, etc. 

Satyrs, followers of Bacchus, con- 
ceived (in Ovid's time) as possess- 
ing goatlike ears, hoofs, T. v. 
8. 37, etc. 

Saurorriatae, Sarmatia ns, T. ii. 198, 
etc. (The form is convenient 

Seylla, (1) a monster with six heads 
and twelve feet who destroyed 
six of Ulysses' men. Later, as 
in Ovid, she is a maiden the lower 
part of whose form is that of a 
monster girdled with dogs. T. iv. 
7. 13, etc. (2) daughter of Nisus, 
king of Megara. She fell in love 
with Minos while he Wcis besieg- 
ing Megara and cut irom her 
father's head the purple lock on 
which the safety of the town 
depended. Minos then captured 
the town, but Hcylla whom he 
tried to put to death was changed 
into a sea bird. T. \\. 393 

Scythia, originally the country 
from the Danube to the Don, but 
by Ovid's time the Scythians 
had been supplanted by Sar- 
matian and other tiibes. Ovid 
uses "Scythian" as a general 
term for the rogion of his exile. 
T. i. 3. 61, etc. 

Secular Games (Ludi saeculares), 
the Centennial Games celebrated 
(17 B.C.) by Augustus in honour 
of Apollo and other gods as a 
symbol of the regeneration of 
Rome under the new regime. 
The festival was represented as a 
revival of ancient custom al- 
though none quite like it had 
ever existed. T. ii. 26 

Semele, daughter of Cadmus, king 
of Thebes, and mother (by 
Jupiter) of Bacchus (Lyaeus). 
She asked Jupiter (Zeus) to 
appear to her in full panoply 
and perished in the flame of his 
lightning. T. iv. 3. 67 



Serviua, an erotic poet probably 

of the Republican period, T. ii. 

Sestos, a town on the Thracian 

shore of the Hellespont, 7'. i. 

10. 28 
Severns, Cornelius Severus, an 

epic poet who wrote on the war 

between Octavian and Sex. 

Pompey (38-36 B.<\) and perhaps 

other themes ; few fragments. 

Ovid addresses him, 1'. iv. 2. 

The Severus of P. i. 8, also a 

Foet is probably the same man. 
n this case, J\ iv. 2 was written 
earlier but published later than 

1. 8 

Sibyl, }'. ii. 8. 41 n 

Sicily, T. lii. 11. f>5, etc. 

Sicyon, a town west of Corinth on 

the Asopus river, P. iv. 1f>. 10 
Bidon, a coast city of Phoenicia 

famous for its purple dyes, T. iv. 

2. 27, etc. 

Sinope, a coast city of Paphlagonia 

on the Black Sea, P. \. 3. 07 
Smti, a Thraciau tiibe dwelling 

near the Strymon river, T. iv. 

1. 21 n. 
Sirens, maidens who lured sailors 

to death by their song. Ulysses 

stopped the ears oi Ins men with 

wax and had himself lashed to 

the mast, and so heard them in 

safety, P. iv. 10. 17 
Sisenna, T. u. 443. See Aristides 
Sithonius, referring to the central 

peninsula of Chalcidice, hence 

"Thracian," P. iv. 7. 25 
Smyrna, an important Greek city 

on the coast of Lydia, P. i. 3. 65 
Socrates, T. v. 12. 12 n. 
Sol, Greek Helios, the god of the 

sun, T. i. 8. 2, etc. 
Sphinx, a monster with a winged 

lion's body and the head of a 

maiden, T. iv. 7. 17 
Sterope, one of the seven stars of 

the constellation Pleiades, T. i. 

Stheneboea. See Bellerophon, T. 

ii. 398 
Strophius, father of Pylades, P. ii. 

6. 25 


Strymon, a river In Thrace, T. v 

3. 22 

Styx, a rivor of the lower world, 
T. v. 2. 74, etc. 

Suillius, P. SuilliusRufus, husband 
of Ovid's stepdaughter Perilla, 
P. iv. 8. 11 f. He rose to the 
proconsulship, A. P. 52 or 53, but 
was a corrupt judge and admini- 
strator, and was twice banished. 
See Tac. Ann. iv. 31; xi. 4 f . ; 
xin. 42 f. 

Sulmo, chief town of the Paeligni, 
Ovid's birthplace, T. iv. 10. 3; 
P. iv. 14. 49 

Sybantica, T. ii. 417. See Hemi- 

Syene, a town far up the Nile at 
the confines of the empire (the 
modern Assiuin), P. i. 5. 79 n. 

Syrnplegades, T. i. 10. 47. See 

Hyiacuse, the largest city of Sicily, 
*P. iv. 3. 39 

Syrtes, dangerous waters full of 
shoals off the coast of Africa be- 
tween Tunis and Cyrene. Piral es 
infested the neighbouring coasts. 
P. iv. 11. 9 

T;ibropanes Ceylon ( l >), P. i. 5. 80 

Tanais, the Don, T. in. 4b. 49, 

Tantalus, father of Pelops arid 
gieat-grandfaiher of Menelaus 
who aie both called Tantalides. 
7'. n. 3S5 ; /'. iv. 16. 20 

Tarpems. Ovid calls the Capitoline 
Hill " Tarpeian." Strictly this 
name belonged to the western 
chfl the Tarpeian Rock so 
called from Spunus Tarpeius who 
commanded t.he citadel in the 
Sabine war or from his daughter 
Tarpeia who betrayed the citadel 
to tho Fabines, or from L. 
Tarpeius whom Romulus caused 
to be hurled from the rock. P. 
ii. 1. 67, etc. 

Tartarus (or Tartara), the lower 
world (Hades) or (as in Ovid) that 
part of it in which the wicked 
were punished, T. i. 2. 22 

Tauri, a people dwelling in the 


Crimea, the Tauric Chersonesu.s, 
P. iii. 2. 45 

Telegonus, son of Ulysses and Circe, 
lie unwittingly slew his own 
lather. T. i. 1. 114, etc. 

Telephus, a Mysian to whom an 
oiacle had declared that only 
Achilles who had wounded him 
could euro his wound. He 
sought Achilles who healed him 
with the rust of the spear that 
he had used in the combat. T. 
v. 2. 15, etc. 

Tempyra, a town of southern 
Thrace near the sea, T. i. 10 21 

Terence, P. Terentius Afer (U59 
B.C.), one of Rome's best comic 
poets. He was born at Carthage ; 
six plays extant. T. ii. 859 

Teretei, T. ii. 191 n. 

Tereus, king of Daulis who loved 
his wife's sister Philomela. His 
wife Procrie in vengeance alow 
his son Itys (Ilylus)and seived 
the flesh to the father. Tereus 
was changed into a hoopoe, 
Philomela into a nightingale, 
Procne into a swallow. (In some 
versions Proem* became a night- 
ingale, Philomela a swallow )" T. 
ii. 389, etc. 

Teucer, son of Telamon, half- 
brother of Ajax, a famous 
archer, driven into exile by his 
father because he had not 
avenged Ajax, P. i. 3. 80 

Teucri, the Trojans, so-called from 
their first king, Teueer, T. i. 2. C 

Thalia, the Muse of comedy and 
light verse, used symbolically 
for poetic work in general, T 
iv. 10. 56, etc. 

Thebae, Thebes, the chief city of 
Boeotia, T. ii. 319, etc. 

Themistooles, son of Neocles ; the 
great Athenian who defeated the 
Persians at Halamis, exiled c. 
474-472 B.C., P. i 3. t>9 

Thermodon, a river in Pontus 
frequented by Amazons, P. iv. 
10. 51 

Theroiiipdon, a Scythian chieftain 
who fed lions on human tlesh, 
P. i. 2. 119 

Thersites, P. iii. 9. 10, etc. See 

Theseus, son of Aegeus, king ol 
Athens. He slew the Minotaur 
after penetrating the labyrinth 
by means of the clue given him 
by Ariadne, escaped with her but 
later abandoned her. His friend- 
ship for Pirithous, whom he ac- 
companied to the lower world, 
was proverbial. T. i. 9. 31, etc. 

Thessaly, the north-east district of 
Greece, P. i. 4. 28 

Thoas (Thoans), T. i. 9. 28, etc. 
See Iphigenia 

Thrace, the country extending 
from Macedonia to the Pontus 
and from the Danube to the 
Aegean and Propontis, P. iv. 5. 
5, etc. 

Thybris, the Tiber, T. v. 1. 31 

Thyestes, P. iv. 6 47 n. 

Thymacus (sinus), the Thynian 
Bay on the Thracian coast of the 
Pontus, T. i. 10. 35 

Tiberius, Ti. Claudius Nero, the 
Emperor (42 n c -A.D. 37), elder 
son of Livia by her first husband. 
Augustus adopted him and linally 
made him his successor. P. iv. 9. 
70, etc. 

Tibullus (Albius), one of Home's 
bestelegists(c. 54-19 B.U) ; much 
admired by Ovid, T. n. 447, etc. 

Tilmr, the modern Tivoh, about 
eighteen miles east of Rome, P. 

1. 3. 82 

Ticida (or Ticidas), a Roman erotic 
poet contemporary with Catullus; 
very few fragments, T. u. 433 

Tiphys, the pilot of the Argo, T. 
iv 3. 77, etc. 

Tisiphone, one ot the three Furies, 
a symbol for madness, T. iv. 
9. 6 

Tityrus, a shepherd's name, n 
symbol for pastoral poetry, P. 
iv. 10. 83 

Tityus, attempted to outrage 
Latona, was punished in the 
lower world where two vultures 
fed eternally on his Iner which 
was as eternally renewed, P. i. 

2. 89 



Tomis, the Moesian town to which 
Ovid was banished ; Tomitae, the 
inhabitants. Adj. Tomitanus, T. 

1. 2. 85 ; iii. 9. 83 n. ; v. 7. ; P. 
iv. 14. 59, etc. See Introd. pp. 
xxvi ff. 

Tonans, the "Thunderer," epithet 
of Jupiter, P. ii. 2. 42 

Trmacria, the " three - cornered 
laud," a name of Sicily, P. iv. 
15. 15 

Ti inacrius, an Augustan poet who 
Avrote a Ferseis, probably an epic 
on Perseus, P. iv. 10. 25 

Triptolemus, son oi Celeus, king 
of Eleusis. He received fioin 
Ceres a car loaded with seeds and 
instructed men in agriculture. 
T. iii. 8. 1, etc. 

Trmmphus, the " Triumph," Ovid's 
poem on the triumph, P. iii. 4. 3 n. 

Trivia, originally the same as 
Hecate ; later (as in Ovid), oflen 
identified with Diana. Hecate 
was called Trivia (trivia, " three 
ways ") because of her function 
as goddess of toads, etc. P. 111. 

2. 71 

Troesmib (Troesme'O, (1) a Moesian 
town near the Danube just above 
the delta, P. iv. 9. 79; (2) a 
poem by Sabinus (if the text is 
correct) on the capture of the 
town by Flaecus, P, iv. 10. 15 

Troia, in north-west Asia Minor, T. 
i. 2. 5, etc. 

Turnus, king oi the Rntulians in 
Latium with whom Aeneas en- 
gaged in wur, T. i. 2. 7, etc 

Ttirraruus, an Augustan tragic 
poet, P. iv. 1(5. 29(nothing further 

Tuscus, an Aumistari poet who 
wrote a Phyllis, perhaps of tin* 
love of Phyllis and Demophoon 
in which Demophoon may have 
been a pseudonym for the poet 
himself, cf. Propert. ii. 22. P 
iv. 16. 20 

Tutir-anus, a friend to whom Ovid 
addresses P. iv. 12 and H. He 
was an epic poet, r/. iv. 1(5. 27, 
where he is probably meant as 
the author of a Pfiacacisa.n epic 


(or epyllion?) on the sojourn of 
Ulysses in Phaoacia 

Tydeus, father of Diomed and one 
of the seven leaders who fell in 
the attack on Thebes. He had 
been exiled from Calydon because 
he had slain a relative. P. i. 8. 79 

Tyndareus, husband of Leda ; hence 
Leda's children, Castor, Pollux, 
Helen, and Clytaemestra are 
called Tyndandae " sons (or 
daughters) of Tyndareus," T. i. 
10. 45, etc. 

Typhon, one of the Giants, whom 
.Jupiter placed beneath Mt. 
Aetna, P. ii. 10. 24 

Tyras, a ISaimatian river the 
Dniester, P. iv. 10. 50 

Tyre, the Phoenician coast city 
from which cime the settlers of 
Carthage who are often called 
Tyrians, T. ii. 534 

Ulysses (Uhxes), the Greek Odys- 
seus, son of Laertes, king of 
Ithaca ; the most cralty and one 
of the bravest of Greek leaders 
before Troy. After ten years of 
wandering he reached home to 
find his substance wasted by the 
suitois of Penelope his faithful 
wife. He slew the suitors and 
regained his power. T. i. 2. 9, etc. 

Umbria, the district of Italy north 
of Rome extending from Etruna 
to the Adriatic and uorth to the 
Po valley, P, i. 8. 07 

Varius, L.. Varius Rufua, an 
Augustan poet famed for tragedy 
and epic ; only one certain frag- 
ment, P. iv. 10. yi 

Varro, P. Varro Atacinus, an epic 
and erotic poet contemporary 
with Catullus. He wrote an 
epic on the Argonautic expedi- 
tion. A few fragments survive. 
T. n. 439 

Venus, goddess of love, often used 
as a symbol for the passion itself, 
T. i. a. <>, etc. 

Vergilius, P. Vorgilius Maro (70-19 
B.C.) the greatest Roman epic 
poet, author of the Aeneid, 


Georgics, Bucolics, and certain 
minor poems, T. iv. 10. 51 

Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire. 
Her cult was administered at 
Rome by six Vestal Virgins. T. 
ii. 811 ; iii. 1. 29, etc. 

Vestalis, son (or grandson?) of 
Donnus, a Celtic chieftain. He 
had taken service with the 
Romans and had become a 
centurion and served with Vitel- 
lius(?) at the capture of Aegisos. 
Later he was sent to Thrace on 
some imperial mission which is 
not clear. P. iv. 7 

Victoria, goddess of victory, T. ii. 

Virgo, the aqueduct built by 
Agrippa (19 B.C.) to supply his 

baths on the Campus Martis. A " 
maiden (virgo) is said to have 
pointed out the springs which 
supplied the water, T. iii. 12. 22 ; 
P. i. 8. 38 

Vitellius, P. Vitellius, friend of 
Germanicus, procon. of Bithynia 
18 or 19 A.D. He may be the 
Vitellius to whom Ovid refers as 
recovering Aegisos. P. iv. 7. 27 

Volesus, companion of T. Tatius 
and founder of the Valerian 
family. Volesus is probably the 
Habine form of Valerius. P. iii 
2. 105 

Zephyrus, the west wind, T. i. 2. 

28, etc. 
Zeiiuthia (htora), T. i. 10. 19 n. 

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11 Vols. (Vols. I., II., III. and VII. 2nd Imp,) 
POLYBIUS. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 

Dewing. 7 Vols. Vols. I.-VI. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
QUINTUS SMYRNAEUS. A. S. Way. Verse trans. 
SEXTUS EMPIRICUS. Rev. R. G. Bury. 3 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
SOPHOCLES. F. Storr. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 6th Imp., Vol. 

II. 5th Imp.) Verse trans. 
STRABO: GEOGRAPHY. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. 

(Vols. I. and VIII. 2nd Imp.) 

HERODES, etc. A. D. Knox. 

Arthur Hort, Bart. 2 Vols. 


THUCYDIDES. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., 

Vols. II., III. and IV. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
XENOPHON : CYROPAEDIA. Walter Miller. 2 VoK 

(2nd Imp.) 

AND SYMPOSIUM. C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 

3 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 

E. C. Marchant. (2nd Imp.) 



ALCIPHRON. A. R. Benner. 

ARISTOTLE: DE MUNDO, etc. W. K. C. Guthrie. 

ANIMALS. A. L. Peck. 


MANETHO. W. G. Waddell. 

NONNOS. W. H. D. Rouse. 

PAPYRI: LITERARY PAPYRI. Selected and trans- 
lated by C. H. Roberts. 




H. Rackham. 
CICERO: DE ORATORE. W. E. Sutton and H. 




BALBO. J. H. Freese. 


PRUDENTIUS. H. J. Thomson. 

J. C. Rolfe.